California Insights

FAQ

Most Asked Flood Insurance Questions

Are private flood insurance policies the same as federally backed policies from the National Flood Insurance Program?
Yes and No. Federally regulated lenders must accept a private flood insurance policy for structures that reside in a special flood hazard area if certain requirements are met, with one being that coverage of the private policy be AT LEAST as broad as the coverage provided under a standard flood insurance policy under the national flood insurance program. Additionally, most private policies offer broader coverage than the NFIP policy. From higher limits to shorter waiting periods, private policies almost always provide better coverage options with lower premiums.
What is private flood insurance?
Private flood insurance is an alternative to the government FEMA backed National flood Insurance program (NFIP). Those who live in a high-risk flood zone (Special Flood Hazard Area -SFHA) can purchase a policy backed by a private company and satisfy the mortgage requirement and federal mandate. Oftentimes with premiums 30-50% less than the National Flood Insurance Program.
Are all flood insurance rates the same?
While it is true for those companies that sell the National Flood Insurance Program, the rates can vary significantly depending on whether you use a private company vs. the government backed National Flood Insurance policy. Unlike the NFIP, Private flood companies’ rates reflect more closely with the actual risk because they underwrite each risk uniquely. Alternatively, while not every property in a high-risk zone carries the same risk, everyone is charged the same premium under the NFIP policy. Ultimately many of the properties with less risk help subsidize those with the most risk in the FEMA plan. Private carriers typically pick the best risks in an area and those with the least risk of flooding. They also do not have to accept every risk like the NIFP does. This allows them to take on the best risks, which keeps premiums low. As a flood insurance broker, we can obtain quotes from both private flood carriers as well as the National Flood Insurance Program.
How much flood insurance coverage am I required to carry?
Under federal law, the purchase of flood insurance is mandatory for any federally backed mortgage in a Special Flood Hazard Area. The amount of coverage for a residential property, required by the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, and amended by the National Flood Insurance reform act of 1994, is the lesser of the outstanding principal balance of the loan or $250,000. For Businesses the amount is $500,000. While $250,000 may satisfy the flood mandate, most private flood carriers will offer higher limits than the NFIP at lower rates. Based on the value of homes today, its advisable to consider higher limits.
Why use us for flood insurance?

Because in certain states we ARE the insurance company! Backed by Lloyds of London, some private flood policies are written by us and behalf of our network of agents.  We also work with a network of agents and brokers who want to get the best for their customers. We offer:

 

  • Rates 30-50% lower than NFIP
  • Approved by all lenders
  • No Elevation Certificates
  • 10 day waiting period and in some cases 0 wait
  • Higher building and personal property limit available
  • Get a policy in 5 minutes
  • No surcharge on rental properties
Do you work with other insurance agents?

Yes! We have a network of insurance agents who place flood insurance policies with us on behalf of their customers. If you are an agent interested in placing business in our program, please contact us for details.

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