Natural disasters can result in devastating financial loss. Yet homeowners still need to be reminded of the importance of contingency planning and adequate insurance coverage.
Unless directed otherwise by your mortgage, Flood Insurance is not a requirement. However, that doesn't mean you should only purchase "what is required". Though, in certain situations, areas that were historically known to be outside of high risk flood zones, now may be exposed to potential flood damage.
Here’s (3) reasons why more homeowners are buying flood insurance today:
#1 ) FLOOD MAPS ARE CONSTANTLY CHANGING
- The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) frequently updates the nation’s flood maps, especially over the past couple of years.
- In recent years, FEMA has re-zoned many communities in an attempt to better assess which properties need protection.
- Many homeowners receive letters from their mortgage lenders that notify them of a map change and typically require flood insurance to be purchased within a specified time frame. Due to bank requirements, more homeowners have been purchasing flood insurance policies.
Not sure if your home was re-zoned? Fortunately, there are plenty of online resources that provide information about your property as respect to hazardous flood zones. The FEMA website can direct you to their syndicate that allows you to search your property, and provides information such as your flood zone and base flood elevation.
#2) SEVERE WEATHER STORMS ARE HAPPENING MORE FREQUENTLY
- Recent studies indicate that we expect to see more extreme and unpredictable weather in the coming years.
- In 2017 alone, 16 separate natural disasters in the U.S. resulted in a total estimated loss upwards of $300 billion. Most of this damage was due to big time player, Hurricane Harvey which cost $125 billion in damages, 70% due to flooding.
- It’s reported that an alarming 80% of people living in the most affected areas were uninsured during Hurricane Harvey.
- Depending on the elevation level and proximity to water, property owners have begun to view flood insurance as a critical necessity when protecting their home and family.
#3) PROPERTIES ARE BEING ELEVATED
- Homeowners in hazardous flood areas find that they’ve experienced substantial increases in their flood insurance premiums.
- Property elevation has become a popular solution as unpredictable hurricanes and storms slam coastal areas each year.
- Lifting your home a few feet above your base flood elevation keeps you safe from expensive flood damage and could make you eligible for special rates.
- Keep in mind, properties must be elevated to code, according to FEMA’s specific guidelines. There are also FEMA programs that help qualified families finance the cost to elevate.
With the changing flood maps, your home could be potentially at risk for future flood damage. There are options to find inexpensive coverage, a phone call to your broker could get you the information you need today. Questions? Let’s talk.
For more information and research, visit www.FEMA.gov
Opinions expressed in this article are solely the author’s opinion, not intended to provide the reader with legal or any other professional advice. Should you need advice or opinion, consult with a qualified professional to address your specific needs.