Flood Insurance in Vermont
What Are Flood Policies?
Homeowners insurance offers protection against a number of perils, but few, if any, homeowners policies offer coverage for flood damage. Vermont property owners who want to safeguard their property against flooding often need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy.
Flood policies are a specialized type of insurance that protects property from flooding and other unusual water patterns. All kinds of properties, including single-family houses, condominiums, apartment complexes, and commercial buildings can be insured with a flood policy. Even renters who want to protect their personal belongings can often find flood coverage that only protects personal property.
What Types of Events Are Covered by Flood Policies?
Flood policies are generally designed to provide protection against property damage caused by abnormal water patterns. Flooding is perhaps the most common and most devastating unusual water pattern, which is why this type of insurance is referred to as “flood coverage.”
Flooding is far from the only abnormal water pattern, though. Other protections that many policies include and might be of particular interest to certain Vermont residents are:
- Coverage for Erosion, which owners of waterfront property in St. Albans Town, VT and elsewhere along Lake Champlain might want in case strong waves erode their shoreline
- Coverage for Mudslides and Mudflows, which owners of property in the mountains surrounding Killington, VT or Stowe, VT may want in case a mudslide or mudflow destroys their property
- Coverage for Other Abnormal Water Patterns, which property owners in valleys near Ludlow, VT and other valley towns might want in case a creek on their property overflows and cuts a new path across their property
(The exact coverages that a particular policy provides will depend on the policy’s terms, conditions, and exclusions. Policyholders should, therefore, read a policy’s paperwork carefully before purchasing it so that they know precisely what coverages the policy provides.)
Who in Vermont Can Benefit from a Flood Policy’s Protections?
As the above examples illustrate, many property owners in Vermont can benefit from the protections that a flood policy offers.
Owners that have property in flood-prone areas or areas that have flooded in the past, of course, stand to benefit from the coverages that a policy can provide. In some extremely flood-prone regions, property owners may even be required to get a flood policy if they have a loan on their property.
Residents who have property that’s not likely to flood may also want to purchase coverage. For, flood policies used to insure properties that likely won’t flood frequently don’t cost a lot, and the protections they offer could save a property owner tens of thousands of dollars (and possibly more) if there is an improbable flood.
What is the National Flood Insurance Program?
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is a multi-pronged national program that helps reduce the damage caused by flooding. One of the program’s main purposes is to help property owners in areas that are prone to floods find affordable flood insurance. In order to purchase a policy through the program, a property owner’s community must participate in the program. If a community does participate (and many do), this is often the most affordable way to buy a flood policy.
How Can Property Owners Get Flood Coverage?
Vermont property owners who would like to explore the flood insurance policies that are available for their property should contact an independent insurance agent near them. An agent can help them determine whether a property is eligible for the NFIP, and they can help compare policies on the NFIP (if they’re available) and open market.