Many people feel that flood Insurance is for homes that are located near the coast or by large lakes or rivers. Nothing can be further from the truth!
“BUT I DON’T LIVE IN A FLOOD ZONE”
Extreme weather can and will happen. Floods and flash floods can occur in California and all over the country. Hurricanes are the most severe natural events that will drive destructive flood waters into your home, but they are far from the only danger. Torrential rains, clogged sewer drains, soaked grounds and snow melt will contribute to catastrophic flood emergencies.
There have been several “Federal Emergency Declarations” in the past several years, from tropical depressions, to severe hurricanes. We will probably never see an intense storm like Katrina or Ike (fingers crossed) again, but that does not mean there aren’t other potential flood dangers facing us here in California.
What is the real danger? The danger I’m talking about is not carrying a flood insurance policy. Even one inch of water in your home could cost you thousands of dollars in damages.
Let me be clear on this!
Your homeowner policy will not pay for flood damage.
You will need to purchase a separate policy.
So how does it work?
The flood insurance program is actually run by the US Government as part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). They set the rules and the rates and allow several private insurance companies to write the policy on their behalf. The premiums are set by FEMA based on the property location and amount of coverage requested. Properties are located in various “zones” and can be classified as being in a “special flood hazard zone” or in a regular non-hazard zone. Obviously the closer the dwelling is located to a body of water the greater the likelihood that it is in a “special flood hazard area”. Flood insurance premiums are higher if a property is located in a special flood hazard area.
If you are purchasing a home in a flood hazard zone, chances are good that the lending institution supplying your mortgage will require flood insurance, minimum to the amount of the loan. People paying cash for their home are not required to obtain flood insurance but we would strongly recommend it.
Homes not near the water will likely be considered to be not in a flood hazard area. These properties can still purchase flood insurance at surprisingly inexpensive rates. In many instances a preferred policy is available for under $400.
All municipalities in both California maintain flood maps and can tell you which flood “zone” your property is located in. Homes located in special flood hazard zones may be eligible for significant discounts based on the finished elevation of the dwelling and the type of foundation. In short, the higher the elevations of the structure off the ground, the less likely the chance of flood damage and the lower the insurance rate.
To obtain a good price on Flood insurance, it is imperative that you secure the elevation certificate. Your bank (holding your mortgage), your county's building & safety departments, or your builder should have these on file. If not, we recommend that you get an elevation certificate done by a qualified appraiser. For the one-time, couple hundred dollars in cost for the certificate, you'll save thousands and thousands of dollars.
We can review the “flood zone” in which your home is located, determine the structure and foundation type and review some coverage options and deductibles with you. Each of the members of our protection team are well versed in giving you the best coverage possible at the least expensive price.
I hope that the information provided here has helped you to gain a greater understanding of flood insurance and how important it is. We routinely talk to our customers and friends all over the country about this subject and the changes that continue to occur on the federal level. We are passionate about this subject because of all the situations we have seen during our long experience working with landlords all over the United States. The various named hurricanes and tropical depressions that have hit our country over the years have all done considerable damage to many homes, businesses and other properties in the local communities. That's why it is so important to us that you have the best protection possible.
The good news is that this product is easily available and the trained professionals at Huggins Dreckman Insurance can make it affordable for you! Check out the Insurance Quotes section on our website today to find out more and obtain a hassle-free quote from our staff.