Now that Hurricane Sandy has done her damage and thousands of people are cleaning up her mess, many are wondering whether or not they should have had Massachusetts flood insurance to protect their home. Many people are not aware that a homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover flood damage. Your insurance agent may suggest that you look into either a Standard flood insurance or Preferred Risk flood insurance policy. The standard policy is for those participating in the National Flood Insurance Program. Low or moderate risk zone homes are not required to purchase flood insurance, but could look into the preferred risk policy if they choose to purchase one.
If you’re in a low or moderate risk zone and are considering a flood insurance policy, you should plan ahead. These policies do not go into effect until 30 days after it is purchased. You certainly don’t want to be in a situation where you need the coverage, but don’t have the ability to wait for it to become effective.
In most cases, you are covered under a MA flood insurance policy against losses from storm surges, blocked storm drainage systems, heavy and/or lengthy rain falls, snow melts, etc. However, the flood water must affect at least two adjacent properties (one of which is yours as the insured) and/or cover 2 acres. Regular ground water from rain is not covered, even if your neighbor also had water in their home. FEMA needs to determine a flood situation. For further questions about flood insurance, or for help deciding if a policy is right for you, talk to your Massachusetts insurance agent right away.