Considering Flood Insurance
All homeowners, renters and business owners in the community should weigh their options regarding flood insurance. While considering if flood insurance is right for you, please keep in mind the following.
- Property owners with structures in the special flood hazard area are required to have flood insurance if they have a government-backed mortgage
- Most homeowner’s insurance policies will not cover losses due to flooding, repairing water damage can cost you thousands
- Flooding can occur anywhere, do not base your insurance decision on not having experienced flooding previously on your property
- You do not need to live near water to be flooded; 25-30% of flood insurance claims come from low-to-moderate risk areas
- Renters can obtain flood insurance to cover contents
- Government aid, in the form of a loan, will only become available if the event is declared a disaster by the president
Flood Insurance Programs
Insurance premiums are based on a number of factors such as: the elevation of a structure in relation to the base flood elevation, the deductible chosen, location, age, level of coverage purchased and the type of building. James City County participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) which makes flood insurance available to everyone in the County.
You do not have to live in the special flood hazard area to qualify for flood insurance. For many people, their home and its contents represent their greatest investment. Property owners can insure their building(s) and contents and renters can insure contents. Please keep in mind, there is a 30-day waiting period before flood insurance policies take effect. Do not wait until the flood warnings are issued to get insurance.
FEMA's Flood Insurance Study provides information on the existence and severity of flood hazards in James City County and the City of Williamsburg. This flood-risk data is then used to determine actuarial flood insurance rates, as well as help localities in floodplain management efforts.
Contact your insurance agent for more information on rates and coverage as it pertains to buildings and contents or use Flood Smart's Agent Locator.
Aside from obtaining insurance there are other precautionary measures that you can take to protect your home. Depending upon the action you take, you may see a decrease in your insurance premiums. Please read about Flooding Mitigation.