Understanding Flood Damage and Water Damage
There basically are two insurance policies that deal with a homeowner's damage due to water - a flood insurance policy and a homeowners insurance policy.

A homeowners insurance policy doesn't provide coverage for flood damage, but it does provide coverage for many types of water damage to your home. Just the opposite from flood damage.
A few examples of water damage include:
A hailstorm smashes your window, permitting hail or rain free access into your home.
A heavy rain soaks through the roof, allowing water to drip through your attic or ceiling.
A broken water pipe spews water into your home.
A standard flood insurance policy, which is written by the National Flood Insurance Program, provides coverage up to the policy limit for damage caused by flood. The dictionary defines "flood" as a rising and overflowing of a body of water onto normally dry land. For insurance purposes, the word "rising" in this definition is the key to distinguishing flood damage from water damage. Generally, damage caused by water that has been on the ground at some point before damaging your home is considered to be flood damage.
A handful of examples of flood damage include:
A nearby river overflows its banks and washes into your home.
A heavy rain seeps into your basement because the soil can't absorb the water quickly enough
A heavy rain or flash flood causes the hill behind your house to collapse into a mud slide that oozes into your home.

Unlike homeowners insurance, which is a private market, flood insurance is backed by the federal government and run through the Federal Emergency Management Agency.
April 27, 2015

Bill to encourage affordable private alternatives to federal flood insurance

The bill passed in the Senate with unanimous support and was signed into law by Florida Governor Rick Scott. “This bill gives Floridians an affordable option that may keep them in their homes, and empowers homeowners to take control of their flood insurance,”

Under the expanded options, policyholders will be able to choose the amount of coverage they would like to have on their property, such as reducing coverage down to the value of their mortgage or excluding coverage for contents of their structure.

For more information on SB 1094 visit http://flsenate.gov/Session/Bill/2015/1094

Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 repealed.

Flood insurance relief becomes law
WASHINGTON – March 24, 2014
Under the just-passed bill H.R. 3370, the purchaser is treated the same as the current property owner. Flood insurance rates may still go up for a buyer under rules in the new law, but they won’t rise any more than they would have if the current owner retained the property.

March 23, 2014
The US Senate passed The Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act.
It refunds policyholders who purchased pre-FIRM homes after Biggert-Waters (7/6/12) and were subsequently charged higher rates

The bill no longer requires the cost of flood insurance to readjust upon the sale of a home in an area where the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) subsidizes policies.

Home sales: As a result of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012, the cost of flood insurance immediately rose to its actuarial rate at the time of a home sale, and the buyer could be required to pay many thousands more per year than the seller. The just-passed bill, however, maintains flood insurance price continuity, and the purchaser is treated the same as the current property owner.

Reinstates grandfathering: All post-FIRM (flood insurance rate map) properties built to code at the time of construction are protected from rate hikes that result from new data – the flood maps created after the fact. Also important: The grandfathering stays with the property, not the policy.
Annual rate increases capped at 18%: FEMA cannot raise flood insurance rates within a single property class beyond 15 percent per year. And it cannot raise a single homeowner’s rate more than 18 percent per year. (Before Biggert-Waters, the rate was 10 percent; until the new bill is signed, it’s 20 percent.)

Annual rate increases capped by home value: The bill requires a 5 percent minimum annual increase on pre-FIRM primary residence policies that are not at full risk, but it also says FEMA must try to minimize the number of policyholders that are charged an increase greater than 1 percent of their flood coverage. For example, a home covered for $250,000 in flood damage might face a yearly increase no higher than $2,500.

The new bill includes several other provisions, including preserving the basement exception, allowing for payments to be made in monthly installments and reimbursing policy holders for successful map appeals.
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