“BUT I DON’T LIVE IN A FLOOD ZONE!”
Many people feel that flood Insurance is for homes that are located near the coast or by large lakes or rivers. Nothing can be further from the truth!
We’ve heard this phrase too many times! Extreme weather can and will happen. Floods and flash floods can occur all over the state. Sometimes, extraordinary storms can drive destructive flood waters into your home, but they are far from the only danger. Severe storms like Nor’easters, clogged sewer drains, soaked grounds and snow melt all contribute to catastrophic flood emergencies.
There have been several “Federal Emergency Declarations” around the country in the past several years, from tropical depressions to severe hurricanes to continuous rains and so-on. We will probably never see an intense storm like Katrina or Ike that reaches this far North in our lifetime (fingers crossed) but there are still many potential flood dangers that we will face.
Regardless of what may come, the good news is that you can easily protect yourself against the biggest flood-related danger of all. And what danger is that? Quite simply, the biggest danger of all is not carrying a flood insurance policy! Because even one inch of water in your home could cost you thousands of dollars in damages.
Let us be clear on this!
Your homeowner policy will not pay for flood damage.
You will need to purchase a separate policy.
So how does it work?
The flood insurance program is actually run by the US Government as part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). They set the rules and the rates and allow several private insurance companies to write the policy on their behalf. The premiums are set by FEMA based on the property location and amount of coverage requested. Properties are located in various “zones” and can be classified as being in a “special flood hazard zone” or in a regular non-hazard zone. Obviously the closer the dwelling is located to a body of water the greater the likelihood that it is in a “special flood hazard area”. Flood insurance premiums are higher if a property is located in a special flood hazard area.
If you are purchasing a home in a flood hazard zone, chances are good that the lending institution supplying your mortgage will require flood insurance, minimum to the amount of the loan. People paying cash for their home are not required to obtain flood insurance but we would strongly recommend it.
Homes not near the water will likely be considered to be not in a flood hazard area. These properties can still purchase flood insurance at surprisingly inexpensive rates. In many instances a preferred policy is available for under $400.
All municipalities in New York maintain flood maps and can tell you which “flood zone” your property is located in. Homes located in special flood hazard zones may be eligible for significant discounts based on the finished elevation of the dwelling and the type of foundation. In short, the higher the elevations of the structure off the ground, the less likely the chance of flood damage and the lower the insurance rate.
We can review the “flood zone” in which your home is located, determine the structure and foundation type and review some coverage options and deductibles with you. Each of the members of our protection team are well versed in giving you the best coverage possible at the least expensive price.
I hope that the information provided here has helped you to gain a greater understanding of flood insurance and how important it is. We routinely talk to our customers and friends about this subject and the changes that continue to occur on the federal level. We are passionate about this subject because of all the situations we have seen during our long experience working right here in New York. A variety of disasters such as unusually aggressive Hurricanes, fierce Nor’easters, high snowmelts, long rainy seasons and other unpredictable causes have all done considerable damage to many homes, businesses and other properties in our communities. That’s why it is so important to us that you have the best protection possible.
The good news is that this product is easily available and the trained professionals at the Putnam Record Insurance Agency can make it affordable for you! Check out the Insurance Quotes section on our website today to find out more and obtain a hassle-free quote from our Flood Insurance Experts.