Flood insurance covers only one peril, and that is rising water. Common causes of rising water are rainstorms or a tidal surge from a hurricane. An overflowing bathroom tub does not constitute a flood. For rising water to be covered by flood insurance a general condition of flooding must occur. A general condition of flooding requires an area of 2 acres or 2 properties in a normally dry area be affected to be considered a flood. Don’t wait until a hurricane is bearing down on you to purchase flood insurance. With few exceptions like the purchasing of a home, there is a 30-day waiting period before coverage is effective.
As insurance consumers we have become conditioned to buy only what we are told. We’re told by the State we must have auto liability insurance; we’re told by our car’s finance company, we must have comprehensive & collision insurance on our car and we’re told by our mortgage company, we must have home insurance. But unless our home is located within a flood prone zone, flood insurance is not required. As a result, many home owners do not purchase flood insurance. Do not make the assumption that since your home is located in flood zone X, your home is not exposed to flooding.
The statistics are alarming. Per FEMA publications F 001, 068 and 683: 20-25% of all flood insurance claims occur in the preferred zones B, C and X. About 60% of all declared disasters involved flooding. There’s a 26% chance of being damaged by a flood over the life of a 30 yr. mortgage if the home is in a higher risk area. Also the most common form of federal disaster assistance is a loan which must be paid back with interest. The federal government is constantly altering the flood zones. With every zone change there is less and less of zone X. If you get rezoned into a high risk zone, your mortgage company will make you buy flood insurance.
If you had bought flood insurance prior to the zone change and had not had a lapse in coverage, the zone X might be grandfathered and you would continue to be charged based on zone X rates. If you are close to a zone A, a higher rated zone, or a major drainage source, securing flood insurance before you are rezoned might be wise. If your home is in a flood prone area, an elevation certificate could lower your premiums. An elevation certificate is a survey of the height of your first floor of living area. It compares your height to the elevation of the general area around you. If you have built up your slab or your home is on stilts, your premium could be drastically lowered.
In 1979 a tropical depression stalled over our home town. In a one day period some areas of Alvin received over 50 inches of rain. The storm set a North American record for the most recorded rainfall in a 24 hour period. There was significant flooding. It did not matter what zone you were in, the majority of the town had flooding. For many years our citizens used the ’79 Flood as a measuring stick on whether to buy flood insurance. We can no longer use that guide. There have been too many changes to our drainage system and too much development upstream. Then in 2017, Hurricane Harvey dropped another North American record for the amount of rain from one storm. Different areas of town flooded.
If you would like a free zone determination for flood insurance, just complete the quote form and we’ll be happy to provide you a free zone determination.