As everyone slowly recovers from Hurricane Florence, it is wonderful to see the city pulling together to help each other.
Many people made it safely through the hurricane itself only to be devastated a short time later by rising floodwaters. Others in the area were still dealing with the flooding loss due to Hurricane Matthew, when in blew Florence to overwhelm once again.
As we grapple with the cleanup and destruction from water damage, it brings up the question: Is flood insurance a good idea even if you don’t live in a flood zone? This type of insurance is often overlooked on a sunny Wilmington day and as it is not part of a homeowner policy you must purchase it separately.
When asked about flood insurance right now, our first instinct might be a resounding “Sign me up," but under normal conditions, is the cost of adding flood insurance to your property a sound idea?
Water Damage Is Expensive
in the Huffington Post
states that “... people tend to associate floods with a total loss, but the average flood claim for U.S. homeowners is about $39,000 ...
As everyone’s budget and risk tolerance are different, you need to weigh the cost of flood insurance for your particular property against absorbing the possible cost of an average claim. Water damage is expensive if you consider the replacement cost of flooring, appliances and mold treatment. If you live in areas with a history of flooding, maybe your decision becomes even easier to make.
Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)
article concerning the facts and myths about flood insurance
points out the following information about the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in which many areas participate:
- Not all insurance agents are familiar with the ins and outs of flood insurance. It is best to talk to someone knowledgeable about NFIP and specific flood insurance options.
- Contrary to some thinking, you can buy flood insurance even if you live in a low-risk zone and, since flooding is the number one natural disaster in the US, it might be a good idea.
- You can buy flood insurance at any time if your area is part of the NFIP, but there is often a waiting period for the policy to start.
- Renters, condo owners, and businesses can all purchase flood insurance.
- Five inches of water can cause as little as $11,000 worth of damage.
Since FEMA can only step in after the area is declared a federal disaster, you may want to look into flood insurance long before a storm is on the horizon.
Flood insurance premiums can vary depending on the following aspects of a property: location and elevation, proximity to a floodplain, the age of the home, if it includes a basement, roof condition and more.
With so many things to consider, it is a good idea to weigh your options and get a second opinion, but ultimately to protect yourself. The decision is up to you and a good insurance broker can help you make the right decision.
If you have questions about finding a reputable broker or want to discuss how flood insurance can fit into your home-buying budget, give the agents at KBT Realty
a call. We are always available to discuss your home-buying concerns, provide you with the right information, and refer you to the appropriate resources.
Becky Brown was born and raised in Wilmington girl, and has been a full time Realtor since 1995. Prior to real estate, she worked in the banking and insurance industries. She has a passion for local Fire, Police & EMS staff and volunteers and has worked with local providers to offer special incentives for first responders.Becky is an active volunteer, having served on committees for the American Heart Association, American Cancer Society, Muscular Dystrophy Association. She also served several terms on the Board of Directors for the American Red Cross. In her free time, Becky enjoys traveling, boating, reading and cooking and entertaining for family and friends. She has a miniature long-haired Dachshund puppy named Axel and loves spending time getting to know him.