This edition of Insurance Straight Talk is about Connecticut flood insurance. What it is, what it covers, when it pays, who needs it, how to get quotes, and other random bits of information you thought you’d never need to know.
The first thing to remember about flood insurance is that the peril of flood is never covered under a Connecticut homeowner insurance policy. It’s a separate policy. And if you live in a community that participates in the NFIP (i.e., the National Flood Insurance Program), your building and its contents can be covered by a standard flood insurance policy.
When it pays: To be considered a flood, the waters must cover at least two acres or affect at least two properties. You must apply for building coverage and contents coverage separately if you choose to invest in a standard flood insurance policy.
Who needs it: Those who carry a mortgage and have that requirement placed on them by their mortgage company. While mortgage companies can require anyone to carry a flood policy, it’s likely that they will only require it if your property is in a SFHA (Special Flood Hazard Area, which includes: Zones A, AE, A1-A30, AH, AO, AR, A99, V, VE, V1-V30).
If you’re not in one of those zones, you’re in a C or an X zone. And the good news for those of you, you’ll likely be eligible for preferred rates if you choose to purchase a policy.
If you’re in a SFHA, however, you may not be so lucky as premiums can be large.
How to get quotes: Call your insurance agent. Most agents have access to a carrier who writes NFIP policies. However, effective October 1, 2013, because of the Biggert-Waters Reform Act of 2012, there have been a number of changes in the program. Most importantly, premiums have increased and it can be more difficult to obtain quotes. More often than not, an elevation certificate is needed to even get a quote nowadays.
Keep in mind that, depending on your situation, you may be eligible to be grandfathered into standard rates, preferred rates, or, if the part of your property where your insurable building lays is at a higher elevation than another part of your property, you may be able to get FEMA to re-classify your zone or your flood provider to give you standard rates.
When purchasing a property, you might want to contact your insurance agent before putting in an offer. I’ve seen too many deals fall through late in the process because the mortgage company put on a flood insurance requirement just before closing. And if you’re considering a property that’s in a flood zone, ask your realtor if he/she can obtain an elevation certificate (it’ll save you an out of pocket expense if someone else foots the bill for the land surveyor).
If you have any questions about flood insurance, gives us a call at 860-529-1737 or email us at email@example.com.