Flood Insurance Frequently Asked Question
Texas is particularly prone to floods. There are two primary areas that everyone should consider cautionary: the coast and a wideband called Flash Flood Alley that extends through Central and North Texas. The majority of major cities in Texas are in an area at high risk of flooding. Those who live in high-risk flood zones may have to and may want to carry flood insurance. Homebuyers have asked me the flood insurance questions below so I wanted to share them with you. I am not an insurance licensed agent, for specific questions contact your insurance representative.
What is a Flood Zone?
A flood zone is an area that has a 1% chance of being flooded in any given year. But floods can happen anywhere. More than half of homes flooded by Hurricane Harvey were outside of designated flood zones.
How do I Determine My Risk for Flooding?
A high-risk flood zone area is designated with the letters A or V on a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). If you are buying on the coast, your property could be considered high risk. But even flat areas across the country may be subject to flooding due to slow stormwater runoff.
Is it Mandatory to Carry Flood Insurance?
If using a lender to purchase a coastal property, flood insurance is usually required. If the property is not associated with a loan, it is your decision? Some people save on the premiums and self-insure. Run the numbers and determine what works best for you.
Does my Homeowners Insurance Policy include Flood Insurance?
A standard home insurance policy does not include flood insurance. You can contact the NFIP to learn more about insurance companies licensed to sell flood insurance policies. Some private companies offer flood insurance policies as well.
What is an Elevation Certificate, and Do I Need One?
Homes located in high-risk zones usually require an elevation certificate or EC. The EC shows what your home’s elevation is in relation to how high floodwaters will reach in the event of a major storm. There are insurance companies that do not require an elevation certificate. Your realtor will have local contacts that can help you.
What are Flood Insurance Rates Based On?
Rates can be based on several things such as the lowest floor in relation to the base flood elevation on FEMA Flood Map, year built, building occupancy, number of floors, flood zone, deductible, and amount of building and contents coverage.
Does Flood Insurance include Wind-Driven Rain?
Flood Insurance is insurance for rising water. Insurance for wind-driven rain is via Texas Windstorm Insurance Association.
Waiting for an Approaching Storm to Insure
Most flood insurance policies have a 30-day waiting period before coverage is activated. Check with your insurance carrier to determine actual waiting periods.
I hope you found this FAQ helpful. For specific insurance questions, please contact your insurance company. If you don’t have an insurance company or would like to speak to a different company. A list of referral sources can be found on this website under Resources – Buyers and Sellers Contacts.