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Myth Busting Flood Insurance

Photo: Courtesy of Chris Gallagher

Plenty of people believe the myths and think they don’t actually need flood insurance, so here is a breakdown of what is and isn’t true.

Many don’t know that over 80 percent of the homes flooded by Hurricane Harvey were not in a mandatory flood insurance zone. Or that federal disaster assistance only covers a small fraction of damages compared to flood insurance. There are many myths and misconceptions about flood risk and flood insurance across our country. Here are the facts.

Myth 1: I don’t live near the ocean, so I don’t need flood insurance

Floods can, and do, happen virtually anywhere it rains. Even if you don’t live in a mandatory flood insurance zone, it’s important to protect yourself with flood insurance. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration estimates more than 200 million Americans are at an elevated risk for flooding right now, especially in the Midwest.

Myth 2: Flood insurance is too expensive

You might be surprised by how affordable flood insurance can be. Flood insurance for homes at or above the base flood elevation can be quite affordable. For example, a home with no previous claims that is outside of the Special Flood Hazard Area can get the maximum coverage for just $450 a year. Additionally, flood insurance rates are determined by the difference between the lowest floor elevation of a home and the base flood elevation. For the best rates, homeowners should provide their insurance agent with an elevation certificate.

Myth 3: I have home insurance, so I don’t need flood insurance

Flood insurance is the only coverage that will protect your home and possessions in the event of a flooding event. Homeowners and renters insurance does not. Additionally, not every storm event results in a federal disaster declaration, which means that FEMA funds will not be available for homeowners. The only way to ensure that you will be able to repair your home after flooding is by having flood insurance.

Myth 4: I’m renting, so I don’t need flood insurance

If your landlord has flood insurance, only the structure of their building will be covered. If any of your possessions are lost or damaged, they will not be replaced unless you have renters flood insurance.

Myth 5: I’ll wait and get flood insurance if it looks like I’ll need it

There’s a 30-day waiting period before flood insurance coverage goes into effect. It will be too late if you wait until a storm is heading your way. Get flood insurance now to protect your home and possessions.

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