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(Updated March 2016)

Disasters can happen any time. Do you have flood or disaster insurance? Find out what a standard policy should cover, NAR information, pricing and reform issues, aspects of choosing a disaster insurance policy and much more in this updated field guide. (D. McCormick, Budget & Operations Manager)

E - EBSCO articles available for NAR members only.  Password can be found on the EBSCO Access Information page.

True Cost of Natural Disaster Insurance

Source: The true cost of natural disaster insurance, (CBS News, May 28, 2011).

Disaster Insurance Coverage

While the exact coverage will vary from policy-to-policy, the following list should give you a good idea of the types of natural "disasters" that a standard policy covers:

  • Fire / Lightning
  • Windstorms / Hail
  • Freezing of Plumbing / Pipes
  • Damage from Weight of Ice
  • Volcanic Eruptions (with exceptions)

Source: Disaster Insurance, (Money-Zine.com, 2010). 

Information From NAR

Private Flood Insurance Update, (REALTOR.org, Mar. 3, 2016).

Flood Insurance Developments, (REALTOR.org, Jan. 14, 2016).

Selected NAR Research on Natural Disasters

12 Things to Plan for Now, (REALTOR® Magazine, Feb. 19, 2015).

Keep water at bay, (REALTOR® Magazine, Mar. 2014).

After the storm, (REALTOR® Magazine, Mar. 2014).

Rebuilding after a tornado: A home owner’s story, (REALTOR® Magazine, Apr. 2014).

How to Talk About Flood Insurance: Talking Points (Sept. 2015)

Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012: Section by Section Highlights (Nov. 7, 2012)

Floods and Flooding Topic Page

Natural Disaster Insurance Topic Page

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

Disaster Insurance Basics

House Committee Passes Private Flood Insurance Bill, (Insurance Journal, Mar. 2, 2016).

Don’t let the flood maps soak your buyers, (Realty Times, Feb. 5, 2016).

Homeowners insurance add-ons to protect your home against extreme weather conditions, (Realty Times, Jan. 16, 2016).

Flood Insurance: 5 Things You Need to Know When the Water Hits, (NBC News, Oct. 6, 2015).

A Disaster Damaged Your Home? How to File a Successful Insurance Claim, (U. S. News & World Report: Money, Aug. 2, 2015).

Find the Best Flood Insurance to Prepare for the Unexpected, (Nerdwallet, July 24, 2015).

Insuring for Disaster, (The New York Times, May 4, 2015).

Home insurance: Are you really covered?, (Consumer Reports, Oct. 2013). E

Disaster Insurance – Do You Have the Coverage You Need?, (About.com).

The National Flood Insurance Program, (FEMA).

Settling Insurance Claims After a Disaster, (Insurance Information Institute).

Drying up 6 myths about flood insurance, (Bankrate, Jan. 10, 2015).

When Disaster Strikes, Insurance May Not Cut It, (Mint.com, June 28, 2013).

The Right Disaster Insurance for Your Region, (HouseLogic.com, June 20, 2013).

Insure Your Home Against Natural Disasters, (U.S. News Money, Nov. 2, 2012).

Homeowner’s Insurance vs. Natural Disaster Insurance, (Equifax Finance Blog, July 23, 2012).

How to insure your home against disaster, (CBS News, July 6, 2012).

Is Disaster Insurance a Good Thing?, (Safe & Sound, July 13, 2011).

Will your homeowners insurance cover you if disaster hits?, (USA Today, May 31, 2011).

Disaster Insurance: How Well Are You Covered?, (Wall Street Journal, Mar. 26, 2011).

What is Disaster Insurance for Houses?, (eHow.com, Dec. 21, 2010).

Is the Cost of Hurricane Insurance Worth It?, (HouseLogic, Aug. 25, 2010).

U.S. Moves Toward Disaster Insurance Reform, (Forbes, Mar. 22, 2010).

Disaster Insurance vs. Property Insurance: What's the Difference?, (AllBusiness.com, 2010).

Protecting Your Business from Disaster and Emergency, (AllBusiness.com, 2010).

How to Obtain Disaster Insurance, (eHow.com, 2010).

Disaster Insurance, (Money-Zine.com, 2010).

Insuring Against Natural Disasters, (HouseLogic, Aug. 28, 2009).

Understand Disaster Insurance Claims, (HouseLogic, Aug. 28, 2009).

Do You Need Flood Insurance?

Flood Insurance Misconceptions, (Farmers Insurance, 2016).

Ready for El Niño? Here’s what many homeowners don’t know about flood insurance, (LA Times, Jan. 12, 2016).

If you don’t have to buy flood insurance, should you?, (San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 10, 2015).

Why don’t Property Owners have Flood Insurance?, (Claims Magazine, Oct. 2015). E

Should You Have Flood Insurance?, (Forbes, May 28, 2015).

Do you need to have flood insurance, (Realty Times, Feb. 8, 2014).

What You Need to Know About Excess Flood Insurance, (HouseLogic, Aug. 22, 2013).

Big Flood Insurance Price Hikes Rescinded, (HouseLogic, Mar. 26, 2014).

Minnesota Flooding: Tips for Cleaning up a Wet Basement, (Twin Cities Pioneer Press, June 20, 2014).

The Cost of Flooding, (FloodSmart.gov, n.d.).

Surprising Facts About Flood Insurance, (HouseLogic.com, June 19, 2013).

Defining Flood Risks, (FloodSmart.gov, 2012).

Win for Home Owners: Congress Reauthorizes Flood Insurance for 5 Years, (HouseLogic, Jul. 2, 2012).

Buying Flood Insurance, (About.com, 2011).

House Approves Flood Insurance Program Renewal, Reforms, (Insurance Journal, July 13, 2011).

Estate Tax, Tax Credits, Flood Insurance: An Update on Tax Issues, (HouseLogic, Oct. 29, 2010).

The Facts on Flooding, (Houston REALTOR® Online, Apr. 2010).

Should You Buy Flood Insurance?, (HouseLogic, Apr. 29, 2010).

The Right Disaster Insurance for Your Region, (HouseLogic, Sept. 7, 2009).

Re-examine Your Risk For Flood, (Realty Times, July 2008).

Map Service Center, (FEMA).

eBooks & Other Resources


The following eBooks and digital audiobooks are available to NAR members:

How to Insure Your Home (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Complete Book of Insurance (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Leading People Through Disasters (Kindle, Adobe eReader)

Contingency Planning and Disaster Recovery (Adobe eReader)

Disaster Management and Preparedness (Adobe eReader)

Books, Videos, Research Reports & More

The resources below are available for loan through Information Services. Up to three books, tapes, CDs and/or DVDs can be borrowed for 30 days from the Library for a nominal fee of $10. Call Information Services at 800-874-6500 for assistance.

Before and after disaster strikes: developming an emergency procedures manual, (Chicago, IL: Institue of Real Estate Management, 2005). HC 62 In7bd

Disasters and democracy: The politics of extreme natural events, (Washington, DC: Island Press, 1999). HV 555 P53

Be alert, be aware, have a plan: the complete guide to protecting yourself, your home, your family, (Guilford, CT: Globe Pequot Press, 2002). HV 7431 R19

Natural disasters and the supply of home insurance, (Atlanta, GA: Georgia State University—Center for Risk Management and Insurance Research, 2002). HG 9970 G29

Disaster preparedness: simple steps for business, (Chicago, IL: Crisp Publications, 1998). HF 5500 F87

Natural disaster protection legislation: a legislative analysis, (Boulder, CO: 1995). Pamphlet

Disaster insurance protection: public policy lessons, (New York, NY: Wiley-Interscience, 1978). HG 9970 K96

Disaster relief and rehabilitation in the United States: a research assessment, (Boulder, CO: 1975). HC 62 C71d

Field Guides & More

These field guides and other resources in the Virtual Library may also be of interest:

Field Guide to Homeowner’s Insurance

Field Guide to Errors & Omissions (E&O) Insurance

Information Services Blog

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The inclusion of links on this field guide does not imply endorsement by the National Association of REALTORS®. NAR makes no representations about whether the content of any external sites which may be linked in this field guide complies with state or federal laws or regulations or with applicable NAR policies. These links are provided for your convenience only and you rely on them at your own risk.