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Aug 20

Should I have Flood Insurance if I’m not in a Flood Zone?

FloodWe hear this questions a lot, and let me first be clear that everyone’s home is located in a flood zone…the only question is, in which flood zone is it located?  Being located in the Tampa Bay area, it amazes me how many people decide against flood insurance even though we are at a high risk for flooding.  Even those in a “low to moderate” flood zone are still very much at risk when a tropical storm or hurricane stalls out and drops 20-30 inches of rain in a day or two…the water simply can’t drain away fast enough.  Within hours, the water begins to puddle…then the puddles begin to pool together…then the pooled water begins to become flooding.  It doesn’t take long, and the damage adds up very quickly (it doesn’t even have to be a hurricane, as tropical storms are sometimes the worst from a flooding standpoint).

For those living in the highest risk areas (zones that begin with the letter “A”), mortgage companies will require the homeowner to carry Flood Insurance.  For everyone else, Flood Insurance is available at a Preferred Zone rate, which is a simple package policy.  Although the commercials show an annual premium amount of about $130, for a owner-occupied home of at least $150K, the annual premium is generally between $350 and $450 per year (these rates are adjusted on a regular basis by FEMA as needed).

FEMA provides some helpful information on their website, including flood damage estimates, which are very eye-opening!  If you have any questions about flood insurance, please don’t wait until a storm is brewing, as there is a mandatory 30-day waiting period if you’re not purchasing due to loan activity or a few isolated situations.

We want to help you protect your home, and please don’t make the mistake of overlooking Flood Insurance…