If you live in coastal North Carolina, you must know by now that it’s hurricane season. In the unfortunate event of property damage brought on by a flood, hurricane or tropical storm, your flood insurance policy is the only thing standing between you and a potentially massive debt. For first-time homeowners, there is no time like the present to protect your real estate investment by purchasing flood insurance. As a coastal real estate company, Network Real Estate has seen the devastation that can ravage homes and finances, and we’re here to help.

Let’s look at the numbers. According to the NFIP, the average cost for flood insurance is $570 annually. The average flood damage claim is $30,000. Although the cost of flood insurance is unique to each homeowner, the statistics suggest that flood insurance is a wise investment indeed.

Flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is a national program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), in any area that participates in the NFIP. Flood insurance is divided into two coverage types: contents and property. Contents coverage refers to the goods and items within the home, and the property coverage refers to the home itself. The maximum property coverage amount is $250,000, and the maximum content coverage is $100,000. You may also want to invest in additional private insurance, depending on the value of your home and the risk factors in your area. If you live in a designated Special Flood Hazard Area, the law actually requires that you purchase flood insurance in order to receive a federal loan.

Unlike other kinds of insurance, flood insurance coverage doesn't begin on the date of purchase. When you purchase national flood insurance, coverage will take effect 30 days after the initial payment. Supplemental insurance through a private insurance carrier also typically has a 30-day waiting period. To avoid gaps in coverage, it’s ideal to purchase flood insurance during the due diligence period.

Importantly, make sure you have homeowner’s insurance in addition to flood insurance. Flood insurance, whether national or private, applies only to those damages brought on as a direct result of weather damage. If your home floods for structural reasons, for example, your flood insurance policy won’t cover it. Conversely, your homeowner’s insurance won’t cover damages caused by floods, storms and hurricanes. Cover your bases by getting both types of coverage, and make sure you read the fine print in both policies to understand what is and isn’t covered by your insurance company.

Particularly for homes along the coast, seeking coverage for all possible kinds of damage is an important part of protecting your investment and lessening your and your family’s strife in the event of disaster. Don’t go into the home-buying process without an expert on your side to help you cover your bases – contact Network Real Estate today to get started with one of our qualified Realtors today.