Buy Flood Insurance While You Still Can!

May 14, 2007

Do you live in a low lying area? Do you have flood insurance? If not, you probably want to think about buying it sooner rather than later.

Flood Insurance Lessons Learned
I called our insurance company today to inquire about flood insurance after our week of home repair bills; here are a few things I learned:

– Most flood insurance policies have a 30 – day waiting period before coverage kicks in.

– Your local government draws up the “flood” maps for FEMA, they determine which pieces of land are “at risk” for flooding.

– The government periodically re-draws the maps. Which means even if you’re not considered to be in a flood zone, you could in the future.

– If your land is not in a designated flood zone and the maps are redrawn to include your home, you’ll have to pay an engineer to draw up an “Elevation Certificate” before you can get flood insurance.

– If re-zoning of the flood maps causes your home to be in a flood zone and it wasn’t before some insurance companies will let you skip the Elevation Certificate and even give you lower insurance rates with a “grandfather” clause.

Our Flood Insurance Saga
We weren’t in a flood plain when we bought our home but local officials recently re-drew the map to include us. My first suspicion is that the government labeled it out of the flood zone to allow developers to build there and then re-drew it several years after construction was complete so they could get FEMA help if it ever did flood. Just my speculation but if it’s true, that’s just wrong.

If I would have bought flood insurance anytime in that last few years we would have automatically been grandfathered in but now I’m waiting on the results of our insurance agent’s appeal. So, if you live in a low-lying area, it might be wise to look into your area’s flood zoning and your flood insurance options before your local government re-draws the maps on you.


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Ben Edwards, the founder of Money Smart Life, saved up enough to buy a Nintendo back when he was 12 years old. When he used the money to buy shares of Wal-Mart stock instead, he knew he wasn't like the other kids... His addiction to personal finance has paid off for his family and now he's helping you to afford the life that you want. Check him out on the web at Google Plus, Twitter and Facebook.

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6 Responses to Buy Flood Insurance While You Still Can!

  • Pinyo

    Where could I find the best source for flood zone information? My basement flooded a few times this year. They were minor, but a lot of work to dry out everything.

  • ProspectZone Insurance

    I disagree … it can’t be the buyer’s fault for believing the government. The insurance company has to believe the government when charging rates, so the buyer kind of does too. This is ludicrous. On the other hand, if you didn’t have flood insurance before because you thought you were safe, you’re not necessarily unsafe now – if you really honestly didn’t need it before, you really honestly don’t need it now. The land hasn’t changed, just the government maps.

  • J at Home Finance Freedom

    Hello. Unfortunately, these problems recur year after year because the government’s flood zones can be decades old and wrong but the government’s policy is that it is the buyer’s fault for believing the government.

    Best of luck.
    J at Home Finance Freedom


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