June 1st is less than 20 days away …. a little over two weeks. To many people, June is a month filled with flowers, weddings and graduations. Open the pool, spark up the grill, count the days until vacation, these are all good things.The downside of June is that it is also the beginning of the Atlantic Hurricane Season, which extends from June 1st through November 30th. It has been a few years since Sandy and Irene; and more than a decade since Hurricane Katrina. Over time, people tend to quickly forget and move on from these events. Life becomes business as usual and the memory of the catastrophe seems to soften.
So I am imploring you to consider talking to your insurance agency about the importance of Flood Insurance; now, this minute, immediately.
I have personally witnessed the devastation that can occur to families that have had to deal with flash floods, clogged municipal sewer systems, and 14 days of driving endless rain. The horror of watching the water creeping slowly towards the house and the homeowners trying desperately to get their prized possessions to higher ground. The aftermath of seeing soaked and soiled stuffed animals and toys, baby blankets, destroyed electronics, furniture, clothing and mattresses dragged to the curb and hauled away is a horrible feeling.
Informing a client that all of his losses are not covered by their Homeowners Insurance is even a worse feeling.
I LIVE ON HIGH GROUND, WHY WOULD I NEED THIS POLICY?
- · The first thing that you need to know about flood insurance is that there is a 30-day waiting period/grace period, before the policy is in effect. This is to protect the insurance carriers from losses due to people rushing to purchase flood insurance when the National Weather Service predicts that homeowners are in a direct path to the coming storm.
- · The second thing you should know is that Homeowners Insurance DOES NOT cover flooding. Nope. Never. You must have a separate policy. (As many people who were flooded out from Sandy and Irene, learned soon after the fact).
- · Lastly and most importantly, you do not need to live in a flood plain or in a coastal area to qualify for flood insurance.
OK, SO I MAY NEED THIS POLICY, HOW DO I GET IT?
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.
Sounds Like a Smart Plan, Now What
You can contact us or any insurance agency and we will be happy to discuss Flood Insurance with you and devise a plan that works for your family.
But if you wish to research further, below are some quick links that will give you more information concerning FLOOD.
Either way, it is always my wish to keep everyone safe (and dry) .