Do I Need Flood Insurance?

August 29, 2017

Blog, Chalk Talk

Before you can decide if you need flood insurance let’s start at the beginning by discussing exactly what it is.  You know from watching the television Texas is in the midst of a terrible flooding situation.  Seeing that horrible devastation makes people wonder if it can happen in Charlotte, NC.

In order to decide if you need flood insurance you have to understand how insurance policies define it.  Most things in insurance rely on the information in the policy jacket.  The policy jacket was mailed to you when you purchased or renewed your policy.  You probably tore the envelope open and started reading it right away (Ha! Ha!).   For anyone that didn’t read it yet (probably in your stack to read right now) flood means (paraphrased for brevity for complete explanation review your policy jacket):

Flood means surface water, waves, including tidal wave and tsunami, tides, tidal water, overflow of any body of water.  It also means water below the surface of the ground, including water which seeps or flows through a building, sidewalk, driveway or patio.

Homeowners and renters policies do not cover flood insurance.  You must purchase a separate policy.  You will be interested in knowing that floods can happen anywhere it rains.  More than 20% of flood claims were from properties that were not located in high risk flood areas.  Even worse the damage from just an inch of water can cost more than $20,000.  Ugh!

When rain comes down at the rate and volume like Texas is experiencing the water has no where to go.  Even properties that don’t have a body of water nearby are at risk of flooding if surface water flows into the property.

This information may leave you wondering how much a flood insurance policy costs.  If your property is NOT in a high risk flood area a good ballpark is $450 per year for $200,000 in insurance coverage for your dwelling and $100,000 for your personal property.  If you need more coverage than that it can be purchased for an additional premium.

There is a $1250 minimum deductible and the most important thing you should know is that there is a 30 day wait period before the coverage goes into force.  If a Watch or Warning is issued for a weather event like a hurricane the insurance companies all “suspend binding authority” which means we are not able to put any coverage in force.  So by the time a Hurricane Watch is issued it is too late to buy a flood insurance policy.

If you are considering a flood insurance policy for your property don’t wait to put it in force.  Reach out to Steve at O’Connor Insurance Associates today to get firm pricing and get the process started.  Steve can be reached by email at steve@oianc.com or 704-510-8884 ext 4.

For additional educational information about flood insurance visit our website or https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program.

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