Virginia flood insurance

Virginia’s picturesque landscapes, from the Chesapeake Bay and the Appalachian Mountains to the Appalachian Mountains are filled with lush greenery. Many homeowners in Virginia are at risk of flooding due to the wet conditions that allow for this stunning foliage. Your home won’t be adequately protected against these devastating events even if you have a strong homeowners insurance policy.

According to the National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network data, approximately 5% of Virginia’s homes are located in a flood hazard zone. This number can easily reach 20% in some communities. Even if your house is not in a high-risk area, flooding may still be possible. Over One in five National Flood Insurance Program claims (NFIP), comes from areas of low and moderate risk. Flooding can occur in Virginia anywhere. This is due to a range of risks, including heavy rain, melting snow, and failed dams.

Flood insurance is important for Virginia homeowners

Virginia floods can be unpredictable. FEMA has recorded a range of flood events in Virginia over the years. They have recorded as few as 57 and as many as 571. Although it might seem that floods are more common in the coast counties or those near the Chesapeake Bays, this is not the case. FEMA states that Virginia’s central region is where flooding is most common.

This is why many lenders require flood insurance to be purchased if your home falls in an area at high risk of flooding. You may want to purchase flood insurance even if you don’t need to provide proof to the bank. The average NFIP claim in Virginia is $19,000. While this is considerably less than the $52,000 national average it is still a significant amount that homeowners wouldn’t want to spend out of pocket. Flood insurance can help you protect yourself against this possibility.

Flood insurance costs in Virginia

There are many factors that affect the cost of flood insurance in Virginia. The average cost of a policy through NFIP in the United States for a policy is $700 annually. These are some of the factors that will affect flood insurance costs for your home:

  • Geographic location Flood insurance may cost more if your home is located in high-risk flood zones than if it were in low-risk areas.
  • The value of your home: Flood insurance can be expensive if you have a more costly home than you think.
  • The elevation on your property: You may see a decrease in premiums if it is substantially elevated.
  • Basements may flood more than other areas in your home because they are lower than the ground.

FEMA will update its flood risk assessment system for NFIP premiums. This is expected to happen in October 2021. The new system, Risk Rating 2.0 will use a simplified set of factors to determine premiums for policies.

Flood insurance: When should you buy it?

Floods can’t be predicted far in advance so it is important to buy flood insurance as soon you realize you will need it. Flood insurance policies from NFIP have a 30-day waiting time before coverage begins. Private insurers may also offer flood insurance. The waiting periods will vary from one company to the next.

Don’t wait for flooding to start before you look for insurance. You may not be able to find coverage if flooding is likely.

How to buy flood insurance in Virginia

Virginia homeowners have two options when it comes to flood insurance. The NFIP is the first option. These policies, which are government-backed, can be purchased from 29 Virginia insurance providers. They offer up to $250,000 for building coverage and up to $100,000 for contents coverage for residential properties. You must purchase separate contents and building coverage. Your claim for contents coverage must be purchased separately. All NFIP policies come with a 30-day waiting period.

Private flood insurance is another option. Private insurers might offer more coverage options than NFIP. Private flood insurance may be available with a waiting period of less than 30 days. However, this will vary from insurer to insurer.

Questions frequently asked

Are homeowners insured to cover flooding?

Flood damage is generally not covered by homeowner’s insurance. You will need separate flood insurance to cover weather-related flooding. This can be purchased from either the NFIP, or a private insurer.

Flood insurance is more expensive than homeowners insurance.

Prices for flood insurance and homeowner insurance are dependent on many factors and may differ for each policyholder. Flood insurance premiums will be lower if you live in low-risk areas. Your home’s value and the coverages you choose will also play a part in the cost of flood and home insurance.

How can I save money when buying flood insurance?

The NFIP recommends flood openings and basement filling. Elevating utilities such as HVAC and electrical panels can also help to reduce flood insurance costs. A higher deductible can help reduce your annual premiums. You should only choose a higher deductible if you have the funds to pay it out of your own pocket in case you need it.