Did you know that a single inch of water can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage to your home?
Flooding poses a much higher risk than many of us realize. 90% of natural disasters in the U.S. involve flooding. Floods can occur due to heavy rainfall, winter storms, rapid snow melt, hurricanes, and even new building development that changes the landscape of the area.
If your house is in a high-risk flood zone, you are most likely required to have flood insurance. However, even if you live in a low-risk flood zone, your property may still experience flooding. Approximately 20% of flood claims are filed by homeowners in low to moderate-risk zones. As climate change continues and weather patterns become less predictable, areas that have previously been protected from flooding may find themselves at risk.
Surprisingly, standard homeowner policies do not cover flood damage. In the case that your property does become damaged by flooding, you could be left footing the bill, or relying on disaster relief from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Unfortunately, FEMA funds only become available if the President declares an official federal disaster. Furthermore, disaster assistance from FEMA is often a loan which needs to be repaid with interest.
FEMA is in the process of remapping flood zones to reflect the most up-to-date risk areas. If your area becomes part of a high-risk zone, insurance premiums increase significantly. The best thing to do is to purchase flood insurance before the remapping takes effect. If you already have a policy in force, your lower premium rates can be grandfathered in, saving you money. You can check the current flood zone map here — https://msc.fema.gov/portal/home