When the word “Flood” is mentioned, a lot of people tend to think of tidal waves, boats floating down the street, roof tops peeking out from under a vast expanse of water, and helicopters coming in for roof-top rescue missions like we’ve seen on the news. People rarely think of Flood as something that would impact their home and, thus, they think that having a Flood Insurance policy is just another way for insurance companies to make money. However, regardless of the location of your home (except, possibly if you live on top of a mountain), there is a chance that your home could flood. Especially in coastal areas, the risk for flood is high in almost every area due to our lack of elevation (we are mainly at sea-level or below) and our frequent seasonal hurricanes and tropical storms that bring tons of rain. Check out these:
Top Four Things You Didn’t Know About Flood Insurance
1-) Damages to your home caused by Flooding are never covered on your home insurance policy: Regardless of your carrier for your home policy, damages done from flooding are never covered. Flood is defined by FEMA as, “…ground water rising…”. This can be caused by a heavy rain or a hurricane. If water comes up from the ground and enters your home….that’s considered flooding. If you do not have a flood insurance policy, you are looking at paying the damages out of pocket. This payout could include covering the cost of debris removal, new flooring, mold mitigation, new furniture, new electrical wiring…you get the (very expensive) picture.
2-) Your zone matters…but it also doesn’t: Here’s what we mean. If you are in what is considered a “higher –risk” flood zone (an area that has a history of repetitive flooding damages), then it is very likely that your mortgage company is requiring you to carry a flood insurance policy. However, regardless of your flood zone or whether or not your mortgage company requires you to carry a flood policy…your home still needs flood coverage.
Let’s explore this a bit. Let’s imagine that you have purchased a great new home in an area where the mortgage company does not require you to carry flood insurance. It’s considered a low-risk zone and you think you can save some money by skipping this policy. Now, imagine that a storm comes through (like Hurricane Matthew?) and entire streets are flooded. Houses that were not in high-risk flood zones are now….flooded. You have damage to your entire first floor. You can’t afford to strip all the damaged materials out and replace everything. So your house sits. And now you have a mold issue (which isn’t cheap). You obviously can’t live in the house like this, so now you have to find somewhere to live. But your mortgage payments are still due. How can you cover all these expenses? You didn’t think it would happen because you “weren’t in a flood zone”. However, every home is in a flood zone.
3-) It’s not as expensive as you think: Many people think that flood insurance is going to be insanely expensive. In some cases, such as high-risk or very coastal zones, the premiums can be high. However, that is normally known going into the home purchase because the mortgage company will require you to have a flood policy before you can close on the house. In most low-risk zones, a flood policy runs between $400-$600 for the year (depending various coverage amounts and options that you choose) for flood protection. It’s really not expensive in the low-risk zones.
4-) You don’t “shop” Flood Insurance: You can shop home insurance (see our post on how Insurance Brokerages work here), but you don’t really shop flood insurance. FEMA has the vast majority of the market when it comes to flood insurance policies. There has more recently become another option that can be helpful in some situations called Private Market Flood. However, your flood insurance premiums are not something that you have the ability to shop rates for outside of these two options. The best way to get the best rate on your flood policy is to choose an insurance provider that is knowledgeable on flood coverages, has access to FEMA and private market flood options, and is able to advise on premium-reducing mitigation options such as flood venting, elevation certificates, etc.
At The CHOICE Insurance Agency, we take a comprehensive approach to protecting your home, business, family, and financial future. As an insurance brokerage, we have access to multiple markets for your home, and our team of licensed agents can also help answer your questions and protect your home with a flood policy. Give The CHOICE Insurance Agency a call today and let us make the insurance process easy. Give us a call at 757-416-5100 or request a call at a time that fits your schedule here.
The CHOICE Team
In 2008 Choice Insurance Agency was created out of the former Realty Consultants Insurance Agency founded in1980 by George Ayers Capt. USN Ret. Since 2008 the Choice Insurance Agency has more than tripled in size and is continue on a track of rapid growth. The Choice Insurance Agency focuses on four areas of expertise: Private Client Group, Coastal Coverage, Senior Programs and Commercial/Business Insurance. Our business model has allowed us to expand into all of the states on the Eastern Seaboard from New York to Florida including Pennsylvania and DC to better serve our ever-growing client base. As an Insurance brokerage stationed in Hampton Roads with access to well over 40+ insurance carriers, the Choice Insurance Agency is able to shop for the best rates, cover those picky coastal zones and create a tailored plan to fit your insurance needs. The Choice Insurance Agency. Call us today and see why we are the top “CHOICE” in Hampton Roads.