FEMA is working to revise the flood zone maps
Living in Houston and the surrounding area we are all too familiar with the occurrences of floods, and due to recent events it has become quite clear that the flood maps need to be rezoned. There were parts of the surrounding Houston area that we never would have dreamed would flood before Hurricane Harvey. FEMA is taking action and made an announcement that they will be revising the flood maps and they will be put into effect later this year. Even if your home or neighborhood didn’t flood during the hurricane it can still effect you. The areas that are currently marked as low or moderate risk flood zones are likely to be deemed as high risk areas after the revision. This is due to the fact “almost 25 percent of flood-insurance claims come from low-to-moderate risk areas.” (FEMA).
What does this mean for you?
If you happen to be located in a high-risk area and you pay the mortgage on your home, your lender will require you to purchase flood insurance. When you live in these full risk areas your flood insurance rate can be quite high. The good news is that there is a way to avoid those pesky full risk rates entirely! If you were to take action now before the flood zone map revision goes into effect, you have the opportunity to secure a much lower preferred risk rate. However, if you wait you will risk having to pay a high premium for your property being located in a full risk area.
“Wouldn’t the damages be covered by homeowner insurance… or federal assistance?”
A lot people are quite misinformed in what their homeowner insurance actually covers when it comes to this topic. Did you know that flood damage is not covered by homeowner insurance? In fact, most policies actually make it a point to exclude it! This means that you could have to not only pay out of pocket for any damages that happen to your home but bear the loss of your possessions as well.
Another popular misconception is that if a flooding event were to occur that the government will take care of the expenses through Federal Disaster Assistance. This doesn’t happen as often as people think it does- less than half of all flood disasters that occur actually qualify for federal assistance. Even if you were to be lucky enough to receive this assistance, there is another downside. The federal disaster assistance is often provided in the form of a loan that has to be paid off- with interest. When all is said and done you would end up having to pay more than you would have had to pay out of pocket to begin with without the loan.
“Isn’t flood insurance just as expensive?”
The awesome thing about flood insurance is that it is not influenced by near as many factors as home insurance is, and it is way more affordable than people would typically think. Did you know that for property owners located in preferred risk areas $250,000 worth of protection can be covered by roughly $500 a year? Whether you are young, have bad credit, a lengthy history of past insurance claims, or any other varying factor, it will not affect your rate for flood insurance. The premium for flood insurance is only dependent on key 3 factors.
In the end, it seems way more worth it to me, especially given Houston’s bad reputation for flooding! Here at Lee Insurance Agency, we can help you by shopping your insurance for you to secure the best coverage for you at a low cost. Try not to wait until it’s too late and let us help you now! Give us a call at (281) 812-8400 and we can get you started with a free quote.
Influencing Factors on Home Owner Insurance
Influencing Factors on Flood Insurance