Let’s be real, the first thing on your mind right now likely isn’t flood insurance. But here’s a sobering statistic that may change your train of thought, according to Homes.com, flooding is the most common natural disaster in the United States. If you live in an area at risk for flooding, it’s suggested that you take flood insurance into serious consideration.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) classifies at-risk areas into a couple different categories. Property within high-risk areas have a one percent annual chance of flooding, or worse. Property placed in minimum to moderate classifications have a 0.2 percent chance or less of flooding each year.
Those numbers may not seem very probable, but if a flood does occur, your standard homeowner’s insurance likely won’t foot the bill, potentially leaving you in a financial bind. Also, important to keep in mind, more than 20 percent of flood claims come from homes located outside of a high-risk flood zone, according to FEMA.
So, here’s the million-dollar question, do you know if your home is in an at-risk area?
Lucky for you, it’s as easy as typing in your address in the FEMA Flood Map Service Center. This tool helps you determine not only your flood risk, but how much flood insurance may run you. After identifying a particular flood plain, you can usually check the flood history through your insurance carrier.
It’s also recommended that you receive a site survey and elevation certificate before closing on your home. An elevation certificate lists the property’s location, lowest point of elevation, flood zone, and other characteristics. Lenders don’t usually ask for an elevation certificate unless the home is in a flood plain, but it’s in your best interest to have one on hand. These tools are good indicators for future flooding risk.
Regardless of where you live, flood insurance is worth looking into when it comes to protecting your investment.
If you need help finding coverage, contact your insurance agent or learn more about FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program at FloodSmart.gov/find