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Evaluate Your Need for Flood Insurance

Flooding is not covered in a standard homeowners, renter’s or business insurance policy and between 20 and 25 percent of all flood insurance claims come from low-risk areas. The D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking offers this information to help you get smart about your flood insurance options. There is typically a 30-day waiting period on new flood insurance policies. Remember, not all water damage is considered “flooding.” Check with your insurance company about other coverage such as sewer/water back-up as part of your homeowners policy.

What Is a Flood?

Flood—an excess of water (or mud) on normally dry land—is the most common natural disaster in the U.S. The National Flood Insurance Program “NFIP” defines flooding as a general and temporary condition where two or more acres of normally dry land or two or more properties are inundated by water or mudflow.

How Do I Know What Kind of Flood Area My Home or Business Is in?

Everyone could sustain a loss from flooding, but not everyone faces the same level of flood risk. You can see a current flood plain map for Washington, D.C., at disb.dc.gov/node/448432. Visit NFIP’s website, FloodSmart.gov to put in your address, rate your risk, estimate your premiums and find an agent.

How Do I Obtain Flood Insurance?

Contact your current insurance agent, company or broker or visit FloodSmart.gov.

Where Do I Go for Questions About Flood Insurance Claims?

The flood insurance claims manual is on the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s website at www.fema.gov.

Be Prepared! Make a Home Inventory

You never know when disaster may strike. Make a home inventory of your personal property including photos or video of your belongings. You can download the free National Association of Insurance Commissioners home inventory app for iPhone® or Android smart phones and other resources at www.insureuonline.org.

For more information, visit the D.C. Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking on the web at disb.dc.gov.

Updated April 29, 2014

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