Flood insurance is highly recommended. Remember, even if the last storm or flood missed you or you have done something to protect your home from water, the next flood could be worse. Homeowner's insurance policies do not cover a property for flood damage.
Rock Island County participates in the National Flood Insurance Program. Local insurance agents can sell a flood insurance policy under rules and rates set by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Any agent can sell a policy and all agents must charge the same rates. Our Frequently Asked Flood Questions section answers some more specific questions about the National Flood Insurance Program.
Any house can be covered by a flood insurance policy. Separate coverage can be obtained for the building's contents (except for money, valuable papers, and the like). Detached garages and accessory buildings can be covered under a separate policy. The structure generally includes everything that stays with a house when it is sold, including the furnace, cabinets, built-in appliances, and wall-to-wall carpeting.
There is no coverage for things outside the house, like the driveway and landscaping. Renters can buy contents coverage, even if the owner does not buy structural coverage on the building. Be sure your policy will cover your house if it is damaged in a flood event. During the storms in 2008 we saw many policies that did not cover the damage that was done.
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Some people have purchased flood insurance because the bank required it when they got a mortgage or home improvement loan. Usually these policies just cover the building's structure and not the contents. During the kind of flooding that happens in Rock Island County, there is usually more damage to the furniture and contents than there is to the structure.
Don't wait for the next flood to buy insurance protection. There is a 30-day waiting period before National Flood Insurance coverage takes effect. Contact your insurance agent for more information on rates and coverage.
Several insurance companies have sump pump failure or sewer backup coverage that can be added to a homeowner's insurance policy. Each company has different amounts of coverage, exclusions, deductibles, and arrangements. Most are riders that cost extra. Most exclude damage from surface flooding that would be covered by an NFIP policy. The cost varies from nothing to about $75 for a rider on your homeowner's insurance premium. The latest information on flood insurance can be obtained from FEMA at: http://www.fema.gov/plan/prevent/floodins/infocon.shtm
Note for insurance agents: The Zoning and Building Department can do flood determinations and has copies of FEMA Elevation Certificates on many buildings built in the floodplain. To see if an elevation certificate is available for a particular property, contact us at (309) 558-3771 or click here to send us an e-mail.
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Community Rating System (CRS)
The Community Rating System (CRS) is a program administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). It provides lower insurance premiums under the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The premium reduction is in the form of a CRS Class, similar to the classifications used for fire insurance. The CRS Class is based on the floodplain management activities a community implements. Click here for more information about CRS.
In January 2006, Rock Island County applied to the program. October 1, 2006, we received official notification from FEMA that Rock Island County qualified for a Class 7. A Class 7 reduces flood insurance premiums by 15% for those residents in Unincorporated Rock Island County. This is an automation reduction in your premiums, homeowners automatically receive this discount.
Increased Cost of Compliance Coverage (ICC) Program
In 1994, the National Flood Insurance Reform Act created the Increased Cost of Compliance Coverage (ICC) program. A building (residential and non-residential) is eligible for an ICC payment when the local government building code official determines that the building is substantially damaged as a result of a flood and that, when repaired, it must meet local floodplain management ordinance requirements. A structure is substantially damaged when the cost of restoring the structure to its before damaged condition would equal or exceed 50 percent of the market value of the structure before the damage occurred. The program is available to qualifying properties, countywide. The owner of an existing building can bring it into compliance with the local floodplain management ordinance by elevating the structure, relocating the structure to another location, or demolishing it. ICC benefits can help pay for any of these ways to comply with the local floodplain management ordinance.
In Plain English
Simply put, when a building is covered by a Standard Flood Insurance Policy, and sustains a loss caused by flooding, and is declared substantially damaged by the local building official and must now be brought into compliance with State or local floodplain management laws or ordinances, then the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) will pay up to $30,000.00 to elevate, demolish, or relocate the building when any of these actions are required to comply with State or local codes and floodplain ordinances. This payment is in addition to your damage claim.
How to Apply for an ICC Payment
The very first step in being eligible for an ICC payment is being declared substantially damaged by your local building official. He is the only person that can make this declaration. Then you need to obtain a letter from the building official that a substantial damage has occurred. Then the policyholder reports flood damage to the insurer, a claims representative will be assigned to the case. On the adjustment visit, inform your claims representative that the structure is eligible for ICC payments. If you have not received this information, contact your claims representative immediately. After the claim has been initiated, you will need to get an elevation certificate, building permit and two bids from contractors.
Insurance Company Responsibilities and the ICC
According to the NFIP, the insurance agent is responsible for examining the policy and determining whether a given situation is eligible for payment under the ICC program. It is the insurance agent's responsibility to explain the ICC program to the policyholder. If the policyholder has questions about the ICC payments or wish to appeal the insurance company's decision concerning an ICC claim, he or she should provide a written request to the insurance carrier asking them to forward the claim to the NFIP Bureau and Statistical Agent for review.
Length of Eligibility
A policyholder must elevate, demolish, relocate, or flood proof the building as soon as reasonably possible. Claims must be filed within one year of the substantial damage declaration notice. The timeframe must not exceed 2 years from the beginning of the flood.
For a ruling that the structure qualifies as substantially damaged, contact the Rock Island County Zoning and Building Department or send us an e-mail .