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Flood Insurance in Massachusetts

Flood Insurance in Massachusetts

What is Flood Insurance?

Home insurance provides protection from many perils, but most homeowners policies don’t offer protection against flooding. For homeowners (and other property owners) in Massachusetts who want coverage for flooding, flood insurance offers this protection.

Many of the flood policies that insurers offer are designed to insure single-family homes, but there are policies available for other structures. Insurers may offer policies for townhomes, condos, commercial properties and other properties. Some insurers even make flood policies available to renters so they can protect their personal belongings.

Flood Insurance in Massachusetts

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Who is Flood Coverage For?

Many homeowners, businesses and other property owners in Massachusetts may benefit from the protections that flood coverage offers.

In areas that are deemed to be at a high risk of flooding, homeowners may be required by law to insure their property against flooding. For residents in these areas, affordable policies are often available through the NFIP.

In areas that aren’t considered to be at a high risk of flooding, homeowners might still want to acquire flood coverage in case the unlikely does occur. For residents of these areas, policies are usually only available on the private market. When the risk of flooding is low, however, premiums are often quite affordable.

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What is the NFIP?

The National Flood Insurance Program is a government-run program that helps homeowners in high-risk regions get subsidized flood policies that are affordable. Without this program, attaining flood policies for high-risk regions would often be exorbitantly expensive.

In order to purchase a policy through the NFIP, homeowners’ property must be both in a high-risk area and in a participating community. FEMA, which administers the NFIP, maintains a list of participating communities.

At the time of writing, only nine Massachusetts communities didn’t participate in the program. Many communities in the state did participate.

Flood Insurance in Massachusetts

What Types of Incidents Does Flood Coverage Protect Against?

Generally speaking, flood coverage provides protection from unusual water patterns. Depending on a policy’s specific terms and conditions, this may include:

  • Damage caused by flooding

  • Erosion caused by unusual waves

  • Mudslides and mudflows caused by unusual precipitation

  • Damage caused by other specified unusual water patterns

Is It Alright to Pay for Flood Damage Repairs with Federal Disaster Relief Money?

If available, federal disaster relief money usually can be used for repairs that are needed after a flood. There are a couple of reasons why homeowners might not want to rely solely on these funds to fix any flood damage, though.

First, disaster relief money isn’t always made available to flood victims. In order for funds to be made available, a flood must be deemed a national disaster by the president. Many smaller floods that still cause significant local damage never receive such a designation.

Second, even when disaster relief money is available, they funds aren’t free. Funds are given out in the form of interest-free loans. While interest-free, the loans still must eventually be repaid.

Flood policies provide much more reliable protection against potential flood damage. Policies typically provide compensation for covered incidents regardless of how many people the incidents affect, and the compensation provided doesn’t normally need to be repaid.

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How Can Massachusetts Homeowners Get Flood Insurance?

To get help obtaining flood insurance, homeowners and other property owners should talk with a Garrity Insurance agent who specializes in this form of insurance. Our knowledgeable agents will know whether a property qualifies for NFIP policies, or they’ll be able to quickly check. They’ll also know what coverages to look for and be free to compare multiple insurers’ offerings since independent agents aren’t tied to any one insurance company.

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