Do You Need Flood Insurance If You Live In A Preferred Flood Zone?
Yes. Floods happen everywhere, and are caused by storms, hurricanes, water backup due to inadequate or overloaded drainage systems, as well as broken water mains. “Do I need flood insurance?” and “Is my property in a flood zone?” are questions we hear often that concern both homeowners and home shoppers. And we don’t just hear it from those who are located near sizable bodies of water.
There are a little over a dozen flood zone classifications as determined by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Those standings are based on the projected occurrence of storms that will result in flooding in a particular area.
So while you may not live in a high-risk area, your property may still be part of an area that’s been deemed a high risk for flooding. So how can you determine if your home is located within a flood zone?
Most homes that are in high-risk flood zones are close to a body of water. But regardless of your location, there are a few ways to determine the status of your home’s flood zone.
The best place to begin is with FEMA’s Map Service Center. You’ll just enter a property’s address, and a map showing its flood zone hazard will appear. Zones B, C, and X are the lowest risk, while high-risk zones begin with either an A or a V.
When viewing the map, keep in mind that it’s possible that only part of your lot – and perhaps not your actual house – may be included in the flood zone.
You can also feel comfortable consulting with your insurance agent regarding your flood zone status.
How much does flood insurance cost?
The federal government provides subsidized flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program.
The sum you pay for your policy is based on such factors as:
- The year it was built;
- Building occupancy;
- Location of its contents;
- Flood risk;
- Number of floors and location of the lowest floor;
- Your deductible.
Does being in a flood zone have an effect on the price of the home?
If you’re a buyer or a seller, remember that a home’s price will probably be influenced by being located in a flood zone. Sellers must realize that the cost of yearly flood insurance could have an effect on how much potential buyers can pay. So when the home is being priced to sell quickly, they will need to take those extra expenditures into account.
The property could also be viewed by buyers as being less desirable if the risk of damage from future flooding is elevated. So a highly-motivated seller might offer the home for lower than the market value.
Do you need flood insurance for your property?
So if your property is in a moderate- to low-risk area, should you invest in flood insurance?
If you’re indecisive about buying flood insurance, consider if the possibility of flooding – and the damage that comes with it – is worth the cost of the insurance premium. Keep in mind that only a few inches of water can cause thousands of dollars in damage. The cost of a flood insurance policy is always far less than the cost of paying for damages caused by floods.
Minimizing Your Flood Losses
If your home is located in a flood zone, you should:
- Raise your furnace, electric panels, and water heater to protect them from potential flood waters;
- Keep gutters and storm drains free of waste and put in check valves to prevent flood water from getting into your drains;
- Cover your basement walls using waterproofing materials;
- Store your legal documents and valuable on your upper floors.
Floods happen everywhere, regardless of whether or not you are in a “preferred” flood zone. Don’t let a few inches of water destroy the things you love most. Call our team today to learn more about our affordable flood insurance policies so you won’t be at risk!