With private carriers entering the market in recent years, NFIP is not the only source for flood coverage.

A: Anyone who owns a home near a body of water—including lakes and streams—should buy a flood insurance policy to protect their property. As a general rule, flooding is not covered by typical homeowners policies.

If you live anywhere near water of any sort you’re at risk. In the deluge of claims following Superstorm Sandy, many policyholders did not know that their homeowners’ coverage did not include flood.

From 2008 to 2012, the average residential flood claim amounted to more than $38,000, according to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Yet most consumers don’t know what they can do to protect their homes and belongings against a flood event.

[Related: The 4 things homeowners misunderstand about flood insurance]

Standard NFIP policies cover damage from overflow of inland or tidal water, unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source, and midflow. NFIP can provide coverage available to any homeowner, regardless of their location, through two separate client segments: standard and preferred (B, C and X zones), and high-risk locations (A and V zones). 

In NFIP’s standard and preferred areas, annual premiums can start as low as $415 a year for $250,000/$100,000 in coverage. Also, with private carriers entering the market in recent years, NFIP is not the only source for flood coverage.