Floods are the nation’s most common and costly natural disaster. Hurricane Rita, Ike, and Harvey are 3 of the Top 10 Costliest Hurricanes to hit the U.S. totaling 184 Billion dollars in damage and they each made landfall on the Texas Coast. According to TDI (Texas Department of Insurance), only 15% of homeowners reported purchasing a flood insurance policy and more than half the homes flooded by Hurricane Harvey were outside designated flood zones. If your home isn’t in a high-risk flood zone it doesn’t mean that it will NEVER be damaged by flood, it only means your home is “less” likely to flood. In Texas, we share 400 miles of coastline with the Gulf of Mexico and there are many iconic rivers that run through central and north Texas creating Flash Flood Alley, one of the most flood-prone regions in the country. The data shows that almost every major city in Texas is in an area at high risk of Flooding. Here are some common questions and information regarding Flood Insurance:
Is Flood Insurance covered under my Homeowners Policy?
NO! Homeowner and Renters policies do not typically cover flood insurance. If you wish to obtain the coverage you have to speak to an agent or an insurer offering coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Our agents are very knowledgeable and proficient at quoting all types of flood risks.
What is the Designated flood plain?
The NFIP works with local communities to create maps to show an area’s risk of flooding. They fall into 3 separate categories.
High Risk– this is called the 100-year flood plain. There is a 1 in 100 (1%) chance of flooding each year. If you have a mortgage, you are required to purchase flood insurance in this flood zone.
Moderate Risk– called the 500-year flood plain. There is a 1 in 500 (0.2) chance of flooding each year. Flood insurance is recommended but not required for a mortgage in this zone.
Low Risk– These are areas outside of the 100-year and 500-year flood plains. If you wish to purchase flood insurance in low to moderate risks these are called the “Preferred Risk Program” by the NFIP.
What’s does Flood Insurance Cover?
You can purchase flood insurance for your home (dwelling) and contents. The maximum amount allowed for a dwelling is $250,000 and $100,000 for contents. There is a table below that will show the different flood insurance pricing and coverage tiers for the Preferred Risk Program.
Are there multiple flood insurance companies?
The NFIP is the only government-authorized flood insurance program in the U.S. This means NFIP rates do not differ from company to company or agent to agent. There are also a few private flood insurance companies that offer coverage to consumers as an alternative to NFIP policies. Private flood insurance may be an option if you are requesting higher amounts of dwelling coverage than what NFIP offers or your home is in a high-risk area.
What is an Elevation Certificate?
This is a document that measures your home’s susceptibility to flooding damage and is a component that is used by your agent to calculate your premium. The document will show the homes location, flood zone, building characteristics, and the lowest floor elevation. Elevation certificates are only needed if your home is in a high-risk flood zone. If you are purchasing a new home, the previous owner will generally have a copy of the elevation certificate. If this is new construction or there isn’t a previous owner, then a certificate can be ordered, and a professional surveyor will take the measurements to complete the certificate.
How do I pay for Flood Insurance?
Flood insurance policies must be paid in full, they do not accept payment options or monthly payment plans. If you escrow your insurance and are in a high-risk zone, then your mortgage company will generally take care of paying your Flood insurance premium each year. It’s important to note there is a 30-Day waiting period before your flood insurance will take effect. This means if you purchase a flood insurance policy on June 1st it will not go into effect until June 30th. If you are purchasing a new home your flood insurance can take effect the same day you close.
We never know when the next big storm or hurricane will hit our area and you never want to be in a situation where you have hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage without any insurance coverage. Receiving just 1 inch of water in your home could cost over $30,000 in damage and the data shows that flooding can occur anywhere at any time. In the red menu bar to the right is a menu of flood insurance pricing for the Preferred Risk Program (low, moderate risk). A very small investment can protect you from a catastrophic problem.
PREFERED RISK PROGRAM