Flood insurance provides protection for destruction and financial devastation caused by floods. Although it may not seem like much, even a few inches of water can cause damage and result in thousands of dollars in repair and restoration costs. Homeowners insurance does not typically cover floods, which is why purchasing flood insurance is essential, even if you’re not in a flood zone.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a floodplain is an area that is next to a body of water. FEMA doesn’t define how far away or near a home needs to be to a body of water to be considered a flood zone property. There are, unfortunately, many characteristics of floodplains that can’t be easily defined. It’s up to you to know if your property will be safe in a storm and to insure your property correctly. To determine if your house falls within a flood zone, you should visit the Map Service Center on the FEMA website. Mapping of flood zones is a process that occurs every few decades and flood zones can change as global warming and rising sea levels affect the likelihood of natural disasters and flash flooding.
In October 2017, more than 50,000 Palm Beach County properties were reclassified as being in or touching flood zones. For many homeowners, this meant that flood insurance was now a necessity. For some homeowners, this remapping meant they were no longer in high-risk flood zones, but that doesn’t mean flood insurance is no longer necessary. Your home could become flooded for many reasons, not just from a hurricane or natural disaster. An example of this “everyday flood risk” could be something as simple as the drainage in your community becoming blocked with debris or overburdened from a downpour from our famous South Florida thunderstorms. The resultant rising water could enter your home and overcome the elevation and threshold resulting in costly flood damage. Only flood insurance would cover such an issue. That is why we strongly urge our clients to consider this insurance, even if you are not in a flood zone.
Insurance companies charge different premiums based on a number of factors including whether you’re in a flood zone, how far away your property is from a floodplain, how high above sea level is the lowest floor elevation and more. Although it may not seem as necessary as homeowners insurance, flood insurance is important if you plan on keeping your home safe and your possessions secure. Flood coverage offers protection against losses that result from heavy and lengthy rain falls, rising water, storm surges, etc. You may recall that in 2005 in New Orleans during Hurricane Katrina the ocean’s storm surge extended some 10-15 miles inland. Keep in mind folks, that you all live here in hurricane country. Contact the experts at Massey, Clark, Fischer, we will thoroughly examine your situation to advise you on the best options available.