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Flood Insurance in Massachusetts

What is Flood Insurance?

Homeowners insurance policies offer protection against many common perils, but very few homeowners policies include coverage for floods. Massachusetts residents who want to insure their homes against damage caused by flooding usually have to purchase flood insurance.

Flood coverage is a specialized form of property insurance that offers protection against a specific peril: uncommon water patterns. While flood coverage is often purchased by homeowners to protect houses from flooding, many insurers also offer flood policies for landlords, renters, and commercial property owners.

What Sorts of Incidents Do Flood Policies Cover?

Flood coverage is best known for providing protection against flooding. It’s called “flood coverage,” after all.

Floods are just one of several types of uncommon water patterns that flood policies might cover, though. Other uncommon water patterns that a policy may cover include:

  • Erosion caused by strong waves, which waterfront properties in on the coast may be susceptible to
  • Mudflows and mudslides, which some properties near higher-elevated terrain might be at risk of
  • Any additional uncommon water patterns that a policy notes

(Exactly what incidents a policy covers depend on its terms and conditions, which is why it’s important to carefully review all of the details of a policy).

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Can Massachusetts Residents Participate in the National Flood Insurance Program?

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) offers affordable flood policies to property owners in areas that are at a high risk of flooding. The program is available throughout the country, including in Massachusetts. In order to purchase a policy through the program, however, a property owner’s community must participate in the NFIP.

Homeowners and other property owners who aren’t sure whether their community participates in the NFIP can ask a local insurance agent. An agent will either know or be able to find out, and they can help property owners get a policy through the program if their community does participate.

Will Federal Disaster Assistance Cover Flood Damage?

While federal disaster assistance sometimes can be used to pay for repairs after a flood, property owners usually shouldn’t rely on it. This assistance is only available if a flood is declared by the President to be a national disaster, and most floods aren’t declared to be national disasters. Additionally, even when federal disaster assistance is made available, the assistance is only an interest-free loan. It provides funds for rebuilding, but the money borrowed must eventually be paid back.

Who in Massachusetts Should Consider Getting a Flood Policy?

Many property owners and residents in the state may want to purchase a flood policy.

According to USNews, a little more than 50 square miles of the state are prone to flooding. People who live within these high-risk areas should seriously consider getting coverage, as they’re especially likely to experience a flood.

Property owners and residents who are elsewhere in the state, however, may also want to protect themselves with a flood policy. While a flood may be unlikely in other parts of the state, one may still occur -- and recovering from the damage that a flood causes can be extremely costly if people don’t have proper insurance coverage.

How Can Residents and Property Owners Find Flood Coverage?

People in Massachusetts who want to learn more about flood insurance or shop around for a flood policy should get in touch with a knowledgeable independent insurance agent. An independent agent can explain the nuances of this type of insurance, and they’re able to help property owners and residents compare policies from all of the insurers that offer flood coverage in the state.

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