Why should I get flood insurance?
Flood insurance is one of those coverages that many homeowners aren’t sure they will ever use. Therefore, they are less likely to purchase it. Many homeowners believe they aren’t at risk of a flood. Others choose to save some money by not purchasing coverage. This could be a costly mistake for homeowners.
Why should you purchase this coverage? To begin with, you may have no choice. Flood insurance is mandatory for any home with a federally backed mortgage located in a “high-risk” flood zone. In addition, some lenders may require the coverage even if the home is a moderate or low-risk zone, and even though it is not federally mandated.
New flood maps are released periodically, including throughout 2016. These maps include updates from Federal Emergency Management Agency to the local flood zones. FEMA will shift the boundary lines of the flood zones based on new and more accurate information of floodplains. FEMA uses statistical analyses of records of river flow, storm tides, and rainfall, hydrologic and hydraulic analyses, topographic surveys, and information obtained through consultation with the community to determine what, if any, changes to the maps need to be made.
With flood maps being constantly updated, the chances of updates to your area are pretty substantial. You should check your status on the flood maps annually. They can be found on FEMA’s website
If you aren’t mandated to get flood insurance, you still should consider this coverage. Just because you aren’t in a high-risk flood zone does not mean you will never experience a flood. In the fall of 2016, the east coast of the United States was hit by Hurricane Matthew. As the flood waters rose, so did the number of affected homes that did not have flood insurance. Many of these homes were flooded not by sea water, but by rain and runoff that overwhelmed drainage systems in their communities. The damage in these homes is not covered by any provision in their homeowner’s policy, since most policies exclude flood damage. Some homeowners may qualify for federal aid, which is minimal and barely covers a fraction of the loss.
Even though flood insurance isn’t federally required, anyone is vulnerable to floods. According to FloodSmart.gov, people outside of mapped high-risk flood areas file more than 20 percent of all National Flood Insurance Program flood insurance claims and receive one-third of federal disaster assistance for flooding. If you have questions concerning your status in a flood zone or are considering flood insurance, give us a call today.