Why buy flood insurance for a home that's never flooded?

Flood, the top natural disaster in the United States, causes thousands of dollars in property damage every year. Low-risk areas are not immune to flooding.

Flood insurance is a single-peril policy designed to restore damaged property to pre-flood condition. Policies are sold through the National Flood Insurance Program and certain private insurers. Protection is available for homes up to $250,000 and personal belongings up to $100,000. A local homeowners insurance agent can provide cost and coverage specifics. Flood insurance policies have a 30-day waiting period before coverage begins.

Victims without flood insurance must pay damages out-of-pocket or seek government assistance through grants and low-interest loans. Grants are typically far less than the amount of damage. Loans must be repaid with interest. Federal disaster assistance requires a Presidential disaster declaration.

Proof of flood insurance may be required if you borrow money from a government-backed lender. In addition, anyone previously receiving federal flood disaster assistance must have flood insurance to be eligible for future aid.