How to Get Renters Flood Insurance
Regular renters insurance policies do not cover flood damage. However, you could experience floodwater damage from creeks, rivers, lakes, or snow runoffs, even if you live in a low-risk area.
Flood insurance must be purchased separately from your regular policy. It is only provided through the United States government.
Things You’ll Need
- Itemized list of your belongings and their approximate total value
Evaluate Your Risk Level
1. Examine your community, and determine whether you live close to a lake, river, creek, levee, dam or path where melting snow may flow and damage your property.
2. Determine whether your rental property is in the 100-year flood plain, the 100-year sheet flow flooding area or the 100-year stream flood area, as determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
3. Contact your city government, and obtain a map of the 100-year flood plain in your area. Ask for the FEMA flood-risk level for the area in which you rent property.
4. Estimate the cost of any items that are regularly stored in a basement. You need to deduct these costs from the total value of your belongings, as these items will not be covered by flood insurance.
Get Renters Flood Insurance
1. Determine the dollar amount you want for renters flood insurance. The National Flood Insurance Program will only cover contents up to $100,000.
2. Contact a reputable insurance company through FloodSmart.gov, or ask your regular insurance agent for a flood insurance quote (see Resources below). Flood insurance rates are set by the government and are not negotiable. However, you may get a discount on your other insurance if you have multiple policies with one company.
3. Arrange the terms of your policy and payment. Realize that unless you live in a high-risk flood area, you will have a 30-day period before your coverage begins. This means you will not be able to file a claim until 30 days after you get a policy.
Make a Flood-Safe File
1. Take your itemized list of belongings, and document each major item with a photograph or video and a receipt of purchase (if available).
2. Place your documented list in a flood-safe file or store it electronically.
3. Update your flood-safe file at least once a year in order to ensure that your list stays current.
Tips & Warnings
- You can only purchase flood insurance if the community in which you live participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
- Twenty-five percent of all flood-damage claims come from areas that are deemed minimal risk.