Why You Should Consider Flood Insurance Even if You Own Property in a Low- to Moderate-Risk Area
As of April 2017, only 15% of the 1.8 million homes in Harris County, Texas, had active flood insurance policies. It is also estimated that less than 20% of the victims of Hurricane Harvey in the greater Houston area had flood insurance.
This means that hundreds of thousands of home and business owners will either abandon their properties or take on a lot of debt to begin rebuilding. The Consumer Federation of America is anticipating around 50,000 claims for wind damage and 2 to 3 times that many claims for flood damage, resulting in $30-$40 billion in property damage. 1
Floods are the most common and costly natural disaster. And contrary to common belief, flooding is not restricted to hurricane-prone areas or areas near large bodies of water. According to FEMA, every home and business is vulnerable to flooding. According to a 2016 study, more than 20% of all flood-related claims came from low- and moderate-risk areas and received a third of flood related disaster relief. 2
Here are the facts:
- Floods are the number one most common and costly disaster 3
- Everyone lives in a flood zone 2
- Just an inch of water can cause costly damage to your property 2
- New land developments (can you say Plano, Frisco, McKinney, Mansfield, North or West Fort Worth?) can increase flood risk, especially if the construction changes natural runoff paths
- If you live in a moderate- to low-risk area and are eligible for Preferred Risk Policy, your flood insurance premium may be less than $500 a year 2
- In a high-risk area, your home is more than twice as likely to be damaged by flood as by fire
- The average annual U.S. flood claims from 2006 through 2015 were more than $1.9 billion per year 4
What you need to know when you buy flood insurance:
- Ask what is covered and not covered. Contents are not covered by a building/structure policy. You’ll need a separate policy to cover the content within a building. 3
- Ask about your deductible and how it applies to your coverage. Building and content policies often have different deductibles which means you will have to pay both in the event of a flood.
- It takes 30 days after purchase for a policy to take effect, so it’s important to buy insurance before floodwaters start to rise. 3
Flood insurance is available for virtually everyone: homeowners, renters, manufactured homes, condos, apartments, even if you live in a flood plain. The only requirement is that your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program. If you are interested in a flood quote, or would like to discuss your flood insurance options, please call us at (972) 673-0045.
Wondering if and how floods have affected the area you live in? Visit FEMA’s Data Visualization Tool to view historical flood risks and costs in your state.