4 Common questions about insuring coastal property

Living on or near the coast in Massachusetts certainly comes with it's benefits.   Proximity to the waterfront means fresh air, access to the beaches, and beautiful views.

However, if you own a coastal property, you may be all to familiar with some of the finer points of insuring your coastal home.   You may have been wondering "Why is it so hard getting coastal home insurance in Massachusetts?"

Beach landscape with long retaining wall near sunset across reflective tidal flats of Brewster, Massachusetts

It's not hard for us.  Elliot Whittier Insurance, a division of Salem Five Insurance, has been located in the seaside town of Winthrop Massachusetts for over 100 years.  We place insurance for thousands of homes and businesses from Cape Cod to Cape Ann and beyond, and many of them are considered coastal by the insurance carriers.  We know Massachusetts coastal property insurance.  Here are 5 top questions that we get about insuring your home near the coast.

Is the Mass Fair Plan the only option for my coastal property?

If your insurance agent told you that the Mass Fair Plan AKA Mass Property, was the only option for your coastal property, know that you may have options.    Some insurance agents do not have access to the carriers that will consider a coastal property.   Some insurance companies will not insure a coastal property.  Here's the difference:  We do contract with insurance companies that will consider coastal properties.  

Can I still get bundle discounts for home and auto for my coastal property?

Great question.  The Mass Fair Plan does not give bundle discounts for having home and auto in the same agency.  However most of the standard companies that we represent WILL give you that extra discount for your home insurance and your car insurance when you have them both in-house at Elliot Whittier, even if the home insurance is with one company and the car insurance is with another.  

Does my coastal home insurance include flood insurance?

Probably not.  Most standard home insurance policies do not include coverage for loss due to floods. 

According to FEMA, a flood is described as:

"A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of 2 or more acres of normally dry land area or of 2 or more properties (at least 1 of which is the policyholder's property) from:

  1. Overflow of inland or tidal waters; or
  2. Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source; or
  3. Mudslides (i.e., mudflows) which are proximately caused by flooding and are akin to a river of liquid and flowing mud on the surfaces of normally dry land areas, as when earth is carried by a current of water and deposited along the path of the current.; or
  4. Collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or similar body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels that result in a flood as defined above.

A flood inundates a floodplain. Most floods fall into three major categories: riverine flooding, coastal flooding, and shallow flooding. Alluvial fan flooding is another type of flooding more common in the mountainous western states."

If you live on or near the coast, or any body of water, you should consider a flood insurance policy.  If you have a federally backed mortgage, and you are in a high-hazard flood zone, your mortgage company will require that you have a flood insurance policy in place.   You can request a quote for flood insurance here.  

What is a windstorm deductible on my coastal home insurance?

Home insurance policies all have a deductible.  This is the amount that you pay, in the event of a covered claim, before insurance "kicks in".  In most cases a deductible is $500 or $1000 or more.  

Depending on the insurance company, some properties near the coast will also list a windstorm deductible.  This windstorm deductible is often expressed as a percentage such as 2% or 5%.   That percentage is taken from your coverage "A", dwelling.  So, for example, if the dwelling amount of your home (coverage "A") is $750,000 and you have a 2% windstorm deductible, you'd pay a $15,000 deductible for damage that is due to a windstorm, and not your standard deductible.  

It's important to talk to us when it comes to insuring your home on or near the coast as we can help you find the right options that fit your needs. 



What to do Next?

Have us review your insurance policies and check that your limits are sufficient. Ask what the cost is to bump it up under higher limit scenarios.

Call today 617-846-5000 or click here 24/7/365 and we will get back to you same day or the next business day