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Flood Insurance. Lessons Learned From Hurricane Florence.

Friday, September 28, 2018   /   by Anne Rose

Flood Insurance. Lessons Learned From Hurricane Florence.

Hindsight is 20/20. We've made it through Hurricane Florence. We are cleaning up, engaging professionals to strip our homes down to the studs, tarp our roofs, and remove our beautiful 200-year-old oak trees. We are processing the lessons we've learned about how we build and survive a disaster, and how to protect our investments.

The most important post-hurricane advice we can share is simple. Buy flood insurance. 

What does flood insurance cover?

The best source of information is your insurance agent. Have a conversation that specifically addresses your coverage in a variety of scenarios. Flooding sound far-fetched? As we have seen in communities across the Wilmington North Carolina area, flooding can happen any where.

Standard homeowners insurance does not include coverage for flood water damage. Your homeowners policy might cover some rain damage, but waters from the ocean, river, reservoirs, or backed up storm drains are most likely not included.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is a federally regulated program. They offer two food insurance policies. One policy covers building property, and the other covers personal property. Homeowners can purchase either policy, or both. 

If you are getting a mortgage on a home in a high flood risk zone, your lender will require you to purchase flood insurance. If you are purchasing a home in an area that is not in a flood risk zone, or purchasing a home without a mortgage you won't be required to buy flood insurance.

Buy it anyway.

You can buy a flood insurance policy if your community participates in the national flood program; most do. Check your eligibility through your insurance agent.

Flooding that occurred during and in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence damaged millions of homes in North and South Carolina. An estimated 340,000 homes are covered by national flood insurance, according to Federal Emergency Management Agency. That is a devastating figure. It represents hundreds of thousands of families who have lost everything because of flood waters. Homeowners policies will not assist with remediation or recovery of property.

Will flood insurance protect you?

Statistics show that 20% of National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) claims are actually from property owners and renters for property in low- or moderate-flood risk areas. Because flood insurance covers damage from water inundation caused by storm drain failure, water main breaks, reservoir overflows, even snow melt-offs.

In North Carolina, you can assess your flood risk using North Carolina Floodplain maps. Review these with your insurance agent. Feel confident in your understanding of your flood risk and make accommodations on your property to minimize your exposure. 

But, buy flood insurance, whatever your risk.

Talk with your insurance agent

Flood insurance is generally effective 30 days after you purchase it. Annual premiums in the Wilmington area are generally in the range of $400.

KBT Realty Group has a new policy. Agents will strongly encourage every home buyer to purchase and maintain flood insurance. It is a small investment in protecting your most important asset: your home.

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