Benefits of Flood Insurance
If you are in a flood hazard area or in an area subject to flooding, purchase federal flood insurance. It provides coverage that most homeowner’s insurance doesn't - coverage for damage to structures and contents from flooding, flood-related erosion, and flood-caused mudslides. Renters can also buy policies to protect their personal property.
Eligibility & Coverage
You are eligible for federal flood insurance because Augusta, GA participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). If the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) shows that a property is in a Special Flood Hazard Area, which includes all A-zones, flood insurance is required by law in order to get federally secured financing to buy, build, or improve structures on that property.
Maximum flood insurance coverage is $250,000 for residential properties and $500,000 for commercial properties with content coverage maxing out at $100,000 coverage for residential properties and $500,000 for commercial properties. The standard flood insurance policy provides coverage for one structure per policy. The only exception is 10 percent coverage for a detached garage. However, the total payment for flood damage to the detached garage and the house together cannot exceed the structure policy limit. For coverage to apply, the garage can only be used for parking and storage. Any other use would void this coverage; for example, if the garage has a workshop, the coverage would not apply. All other structures on the premises need separate coverage. There is generally a 30-day waiting period once you apply, so don’t wait until a flood is coming to apply for flood insurance coverage. Flood insurance can be purchased from any licensed property or casualty insurance agent, broker, or company.
Special Flood Hazard Areas
In Augusta, Georgia, the purchase of flood insurance on a voluntary basis is wise even outside Special Flood Hazard Areas. In fact, some lenders and mortgage companies require insurance in Shaded X Zones (areas between limits of the 100-year flood and 500-year flood, more commonly referred to as the 500 year floodplain or the 0.2% annual chance flood area), as well.
The Augusta Planning & Development Department staff will check the official Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) and tell you whether your property is in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). The Planning & Development staff will also tell you the approximate minimum elevation requirements for new residential or commercial construction or substantial renovations of existing structures.