Do I Need Flood Insurance?

Many thanks to Katrina’s devastating path across the Atlantic in 2005 and the 33 trillion gallons of Harvey’s sprinkling—”the single largest rainfall event in the U.S. background”—recently dumped across the U.S., Americans are more aware than ever before. 1.2

However, as many have years of experience, there is no need for a hurricane to keep your home from flooding. Of all natural disasters—including hurricanes—that the US faces, 90% involve swamps.3

Natural disasters are not the only cause of flooding—floods can come from anywhere. This has led many people to ask the same question: Do I need flood insurance?

Paradoxically, despite the losses that flood sufferers may face, the homeowners who are most likely to know economically are those in high risk flood areas because their mortgage requires them to carry flood insurance coverage.

Protect your home and budget with the right protection!

While you may not have the ability to eliminate flood risk, you can take action to significantly reduce your risk—both economically and literally. By speaking with your local insurance representative to see if flood insurance is right for you, understanding your options, and planning ahead, you will be equipped with the information to make the best choice for your home and family.

Since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the number of homeowners nationwide who have flood insurance has decreased to just 12%.4 Also in coastal locations, only about 20% of homeowners have flood insurance.5 Why is that? Are people who don’t have flood insurance really safe from flooding, or do we just have a false sense of complacency? Here are some quick facts about flooding that you might find unexpected.

There is a common misconception that a low-risk flood area is a “no risk” flood area. However, as flood maps change over time, factors such as changing weather patterns or local dam repairs can cause your property to shift from a high-risk flood area (Unique Flood Risk Location, or SFHA) to a low-risk location. flooded area at any time. On the other hand, a new community entering the street can upgrade your home from a low risk area to a completely high risk area because there is no longer any place for that extra spark to go.

But how do you realize your community’s current level of risk? FEMA, a federal government company, updates their flood maps (called “Flood Insurance Rate Maps” or “FIRMs”) yearly through internal studies and community-initiated map revisions—giving each community a defined “risk” category. These maps help home loan companies decide whether they will need flood insurance for a loan, and they tell your insurance representative what you have to pay for flood insurance. COMPANIES change over time to represent changes in land use, community development, weather patterns, forest fires, and so on.

To find out your community’s risk category, you can ask your local insurance representative or most likely the FEMA Flood Map Solution Facility and enter your address to see for yourself.

There are 2 types of flood insurance—one available through FEMA and the other available through private insurance providers. Both types have different coverage options and costs. But what are the differences between the two, which one is best for you, and what do they each cover? Listed below are the details of both so that you can understand your options.

The National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP, offers flood insurance through FEMA. As long as your community remains among the nearly 21,000 neighborhoods participating in the program, you must qualify for both types of NFIP coverage—building properties and individual (component) properties.

Building property coverage is a “replacement cost” coverage. This means that it covers how much it will cost to repair or change your home up to $250,000 (as long as your plan covers at least 80% of your home’s total replacement cost and you carry a limited amount of coverage).

The scope of individual properties (components) changes to $100,000 in items and consists of devalued values. So if you paid $2,000 for that TV 3 years ago, individual property coverage would definitely cost you what it’s definitely worth today compared to what you spent on it initially or how much it would have cost to change it.

Related: Saving money shouldn’t mean compromising coverage. Individuals who have worked with insurance Supported Local Providers save over $700 and get 50% more coverage. Find out how much you can save.

Do I Need Flood Insurance?

Only a limited number of insurance providers offer private flood insurance—flood insurance that is not funded through the federal government. Because private flood insurance coverage differs greatly from the insurance providers that offer it, you will want to ask your local insurance representative to give you an estimate on NFIP and private flood insurance to see what each will cover for you.

Listed below are some of the advantages and disadvantages of private general flood insurance features to help you understand how private flood insurance may or may not help you.

If your home is worth more than $250,000 and you’re in a high-risk location, you may really need both types of coverage. Since NFIP plans are usually (but not always) cheaper, consider bringing the maximum amount of coverage through NFIP combined with coverage through a personal insurance provider. This way issues that exceed your NFIP packet limit will remain protected.

On the other hand, if your home is deemed low risk and the NFIP doesn’t offer the protection you need, you can increase your coverage with a plan through a private insurance provider backed by a security deposit. This may give you a faster resolution with processing and paying your claim. Check with your insurance representative if one or both are right for you!

Want to make sure your family is completely protected? Look at your coverage before it becomes an emergency. Take our 5 Minute Coverage Check to make sure you have what you need.

As with most insurance coverage, whether you need flood insurance—and what you’ll be willing to spend on it—is based on your current level of risk. So how can you reduce your risk and lower your premiums?

Want to maximize your savings? Here are some ways to lower your flood insurance premiums even more and reduce your risk of drowning. Talk to your insurance representative to see which course of action, if any, is right for you.

As many people have recently seen firsthand, it is not necessary to live in a flooded area to experience severe damage from flood waters. But by understanding the dangers you may face and what your coverage options are, you can try the previous days with confidence—knowing that you’ve made the best choice possible for you and your home.

Don’t wait any longer to find out if flood insurance is right for you. Contact your local Authorized Local Provider (ELP) today to make sure you and your family have the coverage you need!

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