Is There a Waiting Period for Flood Insurance

Feb 17, 2024 By Triston Martin

Whether you get coverage from a commercial insurer or the government's National Flood Insurance Program makes a difference. Two weeks is the norm for commercial plans. In contrast, thirty days is the norm for NFIP policies.

Flood insurance is difficult to obtain promptly, whether via the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or a private insurer. Only by changing your policy right around its renewal date will you be able to avoid a waiting period.

When Does Flood Insurance Coverage Begin?

The typical waiting period for an NFIP flood insurance policy is 30 days. To counteract purchases made just before a flood, Congress increased the waiting time from five days to 30 days in 1994. This 30-day waiting period, however, is subject to several remaining exclusions. This waiting time may be waived by the NFIP if:

Federal land torched your house

Furthermore, the destruction caused by wildfires might increase the likelihood of flooding in the area. If a fire breaks out on federal land, an adjuster will look at the region and decide if the fire's destruction might increase the likelihood of flood damage. The adjuster will determine on a containment date (the day the fire is under control) if flooding is the more likely scenario. There is no waiting time for purchasing new flood insurance until 60 days after the day the fire was contained last minute flood insurance.

Your Home Became A Particular Danger Zone

Across the United States, FEMA reevaluates and updates its assessments of local flood risks. FEMA may reevaluate your property's location and find that you are in a larger danger of flooding than previously thought, resulting in a change from a regular risk zone to something higher. In this case, the waiting period to make changes to your policy would be reduced to one day if you made the changes when your policy was being renewed.

Increase Preexisting Coverage

If you want to raise your coverage at the time of renewal to keep up with inflation, you will have to do it before 30 days. The answer to this question should come from your insurance company.

However, if you want to raise your premiums above what your insurer recommends, you'll need to do it 30 days before your insurance renews. If not, the standard 30-day waiting period will apply. Remember that the NFIP caps its homeowner insurance at $250,000 and its renter coverage at $100,000.

Is Flood Insurance Necessary?

If you own a property and are worried about flooding, your regular homeowner's insurance policy will not cover any damages. According to a poll by Swiss Re, over half of all homeowners (43%) wrongly assume their standard homeowner's insurance policy will pay for flood damage.

In most cases, water damage coverage under a homeowner's policy is restricted to incidents like broken pipes and does not cover flooding. Having flood insurance could be mandatory in some places. One such example is the requirement for flood insurance in high-risk flood areas if you own a home or company and have a government-backed mortgage.

What's The Private Flood Insurance Waiting Period?

The waiting period for private flood insurance is typically 10-14 days, but the NFIP's is 30 days. Your mortgage lender may need you to purchase or extend private flood insurance coverage and NFIP policies to qualify for a loan.

There is no prepayment penalty if you pay for your policy through your mortgage. Waiting periods for other forms of loan repayment, such as insurance, are typically ten days after the date of application.

There will be no lapse in coverage if you switch from an NFIP policy to another type of insurance on the renewal date. You must submit a completed application and full payment within 30 days of your current policy's expiration date. As soon as you've fulfilled these conditions, your new policy will go into effect.

Is It Ever Too Late to Get Flood Insurance?

You may wonder if it is too late to purchase flood insurance if a hurricane or other severe weather event is looming in your area. There is often a 30-day waiting period with flood insurance, but you may be able to find coverage immediately. There is often a 30-day waiting time before you may get NFIP flood insurance. However, there are a few cases outside the rule:

  • There is no waiting time if you buy an NFIP plan in conjunction with originating, extending, renewing, or increasing a home loan.
  • There is no waiting period if you increase coverage at your NFIP policy renewal.
  • The waiting time might be eliminated if your property is threatened by floods on burnt federal land and your plan is acquired within 60 days of the fire-containment date.
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