After each flooding event, the media reports on the sad plight of homeowners (too many of them) who lost everything, alleging many were uninsured for the risk of flood because “they do not live in a flood zone.”
These media reports are WRONG. Everyone lives in a flood zone, the real question is how great is the risk of flood. For more information, visit Flood Zones FAQs .
Those who incorrectly perceive they are not at all vulnerable to flood damage should consider:
- People outside of areas mapped as high-risk flood areas file more than 20 percent of all National Flood Insurance Program flood insurance claims and receive one-third of Federal disaster assistance for flooding.
- From 2006 to 2015, total flood insurance claims averaged $1.9 billion per year.
- In the past 5 years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods.
- Since 1978, the NFIP has paid nearly $52 billion for flood insurance claims and related costs. (Data as of 2/25/16.)
- Only those who live in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) or high-risk area and have a Federally backed mortgage are required to have flood insurance.
- Just a few inches of floodwater can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage.
- Flash floods often bring walls of water 10 to 15 feet high.
- Hurricanes, winter storms and snowmelt are common (but often overlooked) causes of flooding.
- New land development can increase flood risk, especially if the construction changes natural runoff paths.]
- In a high-risk area, your home is more likely to be damaged by flood than by fire.
FEMA provides this very helpful online tool that allows consumers to identify how the Federal Government classifies their relative vulnerability to sustaining a residential flood. Learn Your Flood Risk on FloodSmart.gov
Contact me if you would like to be introduced to an independent insurance and risk advisor in your state who has local expertise in helping consumers better understand their exposure to flood damage, control the associated costs of flood insurance, and examine new strategies to reduce the impact of a flood.