More on Home Insurance
More on Home Insurance
The waiting period for NFIP flood insurance is 30 days from the purchase date. But private flood insurance goes active in as little as 10-14 days.
Published September 11, 2019
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Like homeowners insurance, disability insurance and health insurance, flood insurance has a waiting period before the policy takes effect. That means if your home and personal belongings are damaged by flooding within the designated waiting period, you won’t receive a flood insurance payout.
But how long is the typical flood insurance waiting period? It depends on what kind of flood insurance you’re buying and the circumstances of your insurance needs.
Standard flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has a waiting period of 30 days. However, if flood coverage is required by your lender in connection with a new mortgage or refinance, there is no waiting period. Private market flood insurance can have a waiting period as short as 10-14 days, so if you’re buying last-minute protection in advance of hurricane season, a private flood insurance policy could be the way to go.
When you buy flood insurance, there’s a waiting period between the time you buy the policy and the time it becomes active
The waiting period for NFIP flood insurance is 30 days, but there are some exceptions
The waiting period for private flood insurance is typically 10-14 days
The waiting period for an NFIP flood insurance policy is 30 days, so plan far in advance of the rainy season. If you live in a coastal area that is susceptible to hurricanes, you’ll want to buy flood insurance by May 1st — a full 30 days before the start of hurricane season.
The waiting period for NFIP flood insurance is typically 30 days, but there are a few instances where your policy may start sooner:
Private market flood insurance is a considerable alternative to NFIP coverage for a number of reasons: it often provides higher coverage limits and additional coverages not available through the NFIP, it may be cheaper depending on where you live, and your policy can become active in as little as 10-14 days of the policy purchase date.
Private flood insurance typically has the same exceptions to waiting periods as NFIP flood insurance policies, so if you recently bought a home or refinanced your mortgage, you won’t have a waiting period.
There are no restrictions on when you can purchase a policy, only restrictions on when the policy will be able to go into effect. That means if your home is completely inundated by flooding, you can still protect it with flood insurance, it just won’t be covered for the prior flood damage (or any damage that occurs during the waiting period).
Pat Howard is a homeowners insurance editor at Policygenius in New York City. He has written extensively about home insurance cost, coverage, and companies since 2018, and his insights have been featured on Investopedia, Lifehacker, MSN, Zola, HerMoney, and Property Casualty 360.
Pat has a B.A. in journalism from Michigan State University.
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