Do I Really Need Flood Insurance?
We often hear people say I don’t need flood insurance because I’m not in a flood zone or I don’t live near the coast or near a lake or river.
Most of your are probably aware of the devastating damage that flood waters recently caused in Atlanta, GA and Nashville, TN and last time I checked a map, they were far away from the coast! The reason these areas flooded was the amount of persistent rain for a prolonged period resulted in rising waters from local flooding.
A simple definition of flood damage is damage as a result of rising waters. This can be from a storm surge driven by hurricane winds or can be from excessive rain in a local area. And actually EVERYONE is located in a flood zone. The key question to ask is: Am I in a higher risk zone (known as an A flood zone) or am I in a lower risk or Preferred Risk zone (designated as either B, C, or X).
If you want to know, we can run a flood zone determination for you at no charge. These determinations tend to be very accurate for the most part. Occasionally, due to recent map changes by FEMA or a special variance requested by the property owner, there can be conflicts on what is the correct zone.
When a property is located in an A flood zone, and you have a loan on your property, lenders are required by Federal law to make sure the property owner has flood coverage to protect their collateral.
Interesting fact: approximately 25% of all flood claims occur in Preferred Risk, or lower risk flood zones. That should be reason enough to at least check into getting flood insurance. Preferred Risk flood rates, set by FEMA, actually are one of the best insurance bargains out there with rates at approx. $120/year for $20k building coverage/$8k contents coverage up to $355/year for $250k building/$100k contents.
Remember: you do NOT get flood coverage on your homeowners policy. You have to purchase a separate flood policy. If you’re thinking about not getting flood insurance because FEMA will bail me out, you might want to rethink that because an area has to be declared a Federal Disaster Area by the government to even qualify for FEMA assistance.
An excellent website with more info on flood damage estimates, rates, etc. can be found at floodsmart.gov or you can get to it by clicking on our website: atozinsurancefl.com and click on the flood icon on the bottom right of the home page.
June 5, 2010