Flood insurance isn't what you usually think of when you think of this type of insurance. In fact, the majority of claims come from people who don't live in flood designated areas. What this type of insurance does is protect your home and belongings should a flood occur. Regular homeowners polices don't cover damage from flood waters and federal funding is limited.
If you do live in a flood plain, your mortgage company will likely require you to get coverage. The people who should really consider coverage are those who live in areas where an unexpected storm could do some serious damage. If you don't want to invest in a comprehensive policy with the all the bells and whistles, you can get flood insurance to cover your possessions only. Even renters have this coverage option.
Almost anybody who wants flood coverage can get it. If you don't live in a flood plain, it's going to be cheaper. You still get the peace of mind of knowing you're covered in case you wake up one day and see Noah and his ark outside of your window. As a general rule of thumb, you should purchase an amount equal to what it would cost to replace your home or your belongings should you opt to cover your possessions only.
Another benefit of flood coverage is the ability to tailor it to your needs. It's not all or nothing when it comes to a flood policy. If, for example, your business is located in the heart of an area prone to occasional flooding and your home is safely nestled in the highlands, you can purchase a full policy for your business and choose to cover only your possessions at home.
Fortunately, most policies are relatively inexpensive and certainly less than the damage likely to be caused by an unexpected flood. Remember that a flood insurance policy doesn't kick in right away. You have to wait at least 30 days before most coverage takes effect, meaning you don't want to wait until the water's pushing against your front door to sign up for coverage.