If you’re new to owning a home, you might not realize that your homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flood damage. If you live anywhere near a floodplain, or where there’s a heightened risk of flooding, make sure you purchase the appropriate insurance. Otherwise, you could find yourself liable for tens of thousands of dollars in damage out of your own pocket. Don’t find out the hard way—make sure you purchase flood insurance in Texas.
There is always a risk of flooding
Most insurance companies estimate that the average homeowner pays $30,000 out of pocket for flood damage when they don’t have an insurance policy, and there’s a 26 percent chance that your home will flood over a period of 30 years. Compare that to a 9 percent chance of a fire, and you can see why it’s so important to be protected.
No matter where you live, there’s always a chance that it can flood. If there’s a high risk, such as if you live in a floodplain, you will probably be required to purchase flood insurance. While most homes are in the “moderate risk” category, you’ll still want to make sure you have this coverage—since Texas is subject to tropical storms and hurricanes, there’s a good chance you’ll have to deal with flooding at some point during your homeownership.
How to purchase flood insurance
Flood insurance pricing is set by the National Flood Insurance Program, which means there are standard rates across the nation, depending on your risk level. (This means you won’t have to shop around for the best rates.) Your rates will depend on your home size, building type, location and risk level.
To choose the right level of insurance, think about the predicted level of damage versus how much of your home you want to protect. This will affect your rates (in addition to location and home type). Sometimes coverage can be as low as $100 per year, but homes on floodplains and other high-risk areas will command higher rates.
Finally, remember that there is a 30-day waiting period before your insurance protection kicks in, so get the flood insurance now, before there’s a chance of a flood affecting your home.
What to do if you don’t want flood insurance
In high-risk areas, you’re required to have flood insurance under federal law—and it might also be a condition of your mortgage loan. The best way to determine whether your new home will require flood insurance is to check the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s flood maps to see if you’re in a high-risk area. The agency can also help guide you on how to purchase flood insurance in Texas.
Sometimes homes are built where the elevation has been artificially built up, so there’s less risk of flooding. You may be able to opt out of flood insurance by hiring a surveyor to perform a flood certification survey. Then you can apply for a Letter of Map Amendment (LOMA) or Letter of Map Revision (LOMR) to opt out.
For flood certification and other types of surveys, call D.G. Smyth & Co., Inc. today.