Do I Need Flood Insurance?
By: Nicole Saca
Buying a home in North Carolina? Wondering if you need to invest in flood insurance?
Climate change has affected the United States from fires in California to flooding in Miami city to altering the official hurricane season. If you live in a floodplain designated by the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA), you can’t get a mortgage on a home without purchasing flood insurance. Unfortunately, the floodplain maps are outdated. Sadly, North Carolinians have purchased a new or existing home that flooded when no flood insurance was required.
“Why was I not told to purchase flood insurance?”
North Carolina is a “buyer beware” state in that the seller can disclaim knowledge of a flood hazard and may not tell a buyer that flood insurance is required. Search for past news about the neighborhood you are interested in. Talk to an insurance professional. Most home insurance policies don’t cover flood damage. Investing in flood insurance may be a good idea as a preventive measure regardless of your location.
Below, you can access the NC Flood Inundation Mapping and Alert Network to help you gauge whether or not you live in a high risk flood area.
According to the NC site, the map and alert network provides, “reliable and accurate rain and stage gage data” and helps to “provide better information about flooding risks and impacts.” This data aids in making smart decisions about your property by providing real time data.
Flood insurance helps in aiding you in future federal disaster aid. Some high risk flood areas receive federal disaster assistance through grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency if you have purchased flood insurance. It is vital to consider this before you decide whether or not to purchase flood insurance. Disaster assistance can be a great way to combat the effects of future property damage due to hurricane season.
The Atlantic hurricane season is officially starting earlier. The National Hurricane Center is expanding their Tropical Weather Outlooks to May 15. Previously, the season did not begin until June 1st. The change comes in an effort to provide more accurate information on potential May and June weather related cases. Gather data on your area using the inundation map and tracking hurricane patterns in your area to see whether or not you should get flood insurance. These factors can help aid you in your decision to ensure that you are protecting yourself and your property against water damage!
National Flood Insurance Program Facts from their Site:
- FACT: Homeowners and renters insurance does not typically cover flood damage.
- FACT: Flood insurance will pay claims regardless of whether or not there is a Presidential Disaster Declaration.
- FACT: Federal disaster assistance comes in two forms: a loan, which must be paid back with interest, or a FEMA disaster grant, which is about $5,000 on average per household. By comparison, the average flood insurance claim in 2018 was more than $40,000.