If you find yourself entering hurricane season and asking yourself, "do I need flood insurance?" Well, the short answer to that questions is, yes, you absolutely need flood insurance - here's why:
Some people who live landlocked might think that they aren't at risk for water damage due to flooding and likely don't even consider flood insurance as a policy they could benefit from. On the other hand, people who live in places like Florida might be more likely to ask questions like, "do I need flood insurance? Is my property in a flood zone?"
These aren't just questions we hear from those who are in Florida or located near sizable bodies of water. Floods happen everywhere and flood insurance is needed to protect your belongings from damage caused by storms, hurricanes, water backup due to inadequate or overloaded drainage systems, as well as broken water mains.
There are a little over a dozen flood zone classifications as determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Those standings are based on the projected occurrence of storms that will result in flooding in a particular area. So while you may not live in a high-risk area, your property may still be part of an area that’s been deemed a high risk for flooding, which would mean that flood insurance would be a must if you want to stay protected.
So, when determining if you'd benefit from flood insurance, you'd want to first check if your home is located within a flood zone. How do you do that?
Most homes that are in high-risk flood zones are close to a body of water. But regardless of your location, there are a few ways to determine the status of your home’s flood zone. The best place to begin is with FEMA’s Map Service Center.
You’ll simply enter a property’s address, and a map showing its flood zone hazard will appear. Zones B, C, and X are the lowest risk, while high-risk zones begin with either an A or a V, and would absolutely benefit most from buying flood insurance.
When viewing the map, keep in mind that it’s possible that only part of your lot – and perhaps not your actual house – may be included in the flood zone. You might also feel comfortable consulting with your insurance agent about flood insurance and regarding your flood zone status.
How much does flood insurance cost?
The federal government provides subsidized flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program.
Be sure to ask your flood insurance agent if you have specific questions about subsidized flood insurance, how to qualify, and how to apply for that. Below, we've included a shortlist of things to consider.
The sum you pay for your policy is based on such factors as:
· The year it was built
· Building occupancy
· Location of its contents
· Flood risk
· Number of floors and location of the lowest floor
· Your deductible
When considering flood insurance, does being in a flood zone have an effect on the price of the home?
If you’re a buyer or a seller, remember that a home’s price will probably be influenced by being located in a flood zone. Sellers must realize that the cost of yearly flood insurance could have an effect on how much potential buyers can pay. So when the home is being priced to sell quickly, they will need to take those extra expenditures, such as flood insurance, into account.
The property could also be viewed by buyers as being less desirable if the risk of damage from future flooding is elevated. So a highly-motivated seller might offer the home for lower than the market value to help compensate for what they'll pay in flood insurance.
Do you need flood insurance for your property?
Most home insurance policies don’t allow for loss or damage caused by flooding. Homes that are located in higher-risk areas are obligated to have flood insurance. That being said, if your property is in a moderate- to low-risk area, should you invest in flood insurance?
If you’re indecisive about buying flood insurance, consider if the possibility of flooding (and the damage that comes with it) is worth the cost of the flood insurance premium. Keep in mind that only a few inches of water can cause thousands of dollars in damage. The cost of a flood insurance policy is always far less than the cost of paying for damages caused by floods.
Floods happen everywhere, regardless of whether or not you are in a “preferred” flood zone. Don’t let a few inches of water destroy the things you love most. Call our team to learn more about our affordable flood insurance policies so you won’t be at risk!