Riding the Waves of Flood Insurance: Why Private Coverage is the Ultimate Lifesaver
March 7, 2023
Author: Deena Gallo

Floods are among the most common and destructive natural disasters worldwide. The damage caused by floods can be catastrophic and can lead to devastating financial losses for homeowners and businesses. Flood insurance is a critical tool for mitigating the financial risks of flooding, and two primary options are available: government flood insurance and private flood insurance. In this article, we will discuss the difference between the two and why private flood insurance is often the better choice.

Government Flood Insurance:

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is a federal program that provides flood insurance to homeowners, renters, and businesses in areas that are at high risk of flooding. The program was established in 1968 and is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). The NFIP is designed to provide coverage for damages caused by flooding, including structural damage, personal property damage, and cleanup costs.

The coverage limits for government flood insurance are set by law and are lower than what is typically offered by private flood insurers. The maximum amount of coverage available for a single-family dwelling is $250,000 for the building and $100,000 for personal property. The program does not cover additional living expenses or business interruption losses.

Private Flood Insurance:

Private flood insurance is offered by private insurers and is not subsidized by the government. Private flood insurance policies often provide more extensive coverage options than government flood insurance policies. In addition, private flood insurance policies are not subject to the same regulatory constraints as government policies, allowing for more customization and flexibility.

Private flood insurance policies typically offer higher coverage limits and more options for additional living expenses and business interruption losses. Private policies can also provide coverage for damages caused by sewer and drain backup, which is not covered under government flood insurance policies.

Why Private Flood Insurance is Better:

Private flood insurance is often a better choice than government flood insurance for several reasons:

  1. Higher Coverage Limits: Private flood insurance policies typically offer higher coverage limits, allowing homeowners and businesses to obtain coverage that more accurately reflects the value of their property.
  2. Customization: Private flood insurance policies can be tailored to meet the specific needs of individual homeowners and businesses.
  3. More Comprehensive Coverage: Private flood insurance policies often provide more comprehensive coverage options than government policies.
  4. Competitive Pricing: Private flood insurance policies are often competitively priced when compared to government policies, especially for properties that are not located in high-risk flood zones.
  5. Fast Claims Processing: Private flood insurance companies often have faster claims processing times than government policies, which can be critical in the aftermath of a flood.

According to a report from the Insurance Information Institute, private flood insurance is becoming an increasingly popular option for homeowners and businesses. The report found that the private flood insurance market grew by 51% in 2018, with more than 60 companies offering private flood insurance policies.

Floods can be devastating, both financially and emotionally. Flood insurance is an essential tool for protecting your home or business from the financial losses associated with floods. While government flood insurance can provide some coverage, private flood insurance policies often offer more extensive coverage options, higher coverage limits, and more competitive pricing. If you live in an area prone to flooding, it's worth considering private flood insurance as an option to better protect your home and assets.