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Flooding can occur during any season in Michigan. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) estimates that 90 percent of all natural disasters involve flooding. A small amount of water can bring a tremendous amount of damage, and many property owners are unaware that their properties are at risk for flooding. A home located in the floodplain has a four times greater risk of flooding than burning during the course of a 30-year mortgage.
What's worse: many property owners don't realize that their homeowners' or property owners' insurance doesn't cover flood damage. To be covered from flood damage, one must purchase National Flood Insurance through an insurance agent. Consider that even just an inch of water can require a property to replace carpet, drywall, floor boards, moldings, doors and other belongings. Additionally, clean-up of mud and residue can be costly, as can repairing any mold and mildew damage that may occur.
To help calculate flood damage that might occur to your home, visit FloodSmart.gov, and click on the link to learn more about "What Could Flooding Cost Me?"
Flood damage is excluded in nearly all homeowners and renters insurance policies but, if desired, can be purchased as a separate policy.
Any licensed property/casualty insurance agent can sell a flood insurance policy. If you experience trouble in locating an agent, contact the National Flood Insurance Program's agent referral program at 888-CALL-FLOOD. You can also locate an agent by filling out your "One-Step Flood Risk Profile" at FloodSmart.gov.
There is a 30-day waiting period before a new or modified flood insurance policy becomes effective. You can also locate an agent by completing your "One-step risk profile" at FloodSmart.gov.
It is important to note that nearly 30% of all flood claims come from outside the "100-year-floodplain" as determined by the National Flood Insurance Program. The fact that a property is outside of the "legal" floodplain does not mean that the river or stream can't still reach that property. You do not need to live in a floodplain to purchase flood insurance - coverage is available to any building located in a community that has qualified for the National Flood Insurance Program. For a listing of Michigan communities participating in the NFIP, you may visit Fema.gov.
Find the current flood maps for your area.
Coverage for water back up in basements (drains/sewers) is excluded from the flood insurance policy.
Although basement water back up is excluded under most homeowners' insurance policies, coverage can be obtained by purchasing an endorsement. Most insurance companies offer sewer and drain back up as optional coverage. Coverage and limits vary by insurance company, so check with your agent/company about specifics. Some insurers include full coverage for sump pump failure while others specify items that are covered.