There’s a big difference between a flood caused by a broken or clogged pipe and one brought about by a natural disaster. While the amount of damage left behind is one key differentiator, another is the fact that your homeowner’s insurance may not cover flooding from a hurricane, levee break, or other natural disaster if you live in a known flood zone.
For these types of damage, you’ll need to have a special flood insurance. How can you determine if you need one of these policies? Here are some things to look for.
Do You Live Near a Levee?
Levees are designed to prevent flooding, but they aren’t perfect. As you’ve no doubt seen in numerous other situations, levees can fail, and water levels can rise over them in a blink of an eye. Once the levee fails, your home becomes at risk for flooding. So, remember that if you live nearby a levee, you may need to have a flood insurance policy.
Look Up Your FEMA Flood Map
FEMA (also known as the Federal Emergency Management Agency), has a number of flood maps on their website. You can head to the FEMA website and search by your address to see which flood risk zone your home is located in.
Once you find your location, use the keys on the map to determine exactly what your flooding risks are. Their system uses a number of codes, ranging from Zone A (areas with a 1% chance of flooding to Zone V30 (coastal areas with a 1% or greater chance of flooding) to show you the risks.
If your home has no designation, then it isn’t in a flood zone. However, if it’s labeled with a Zone letter or letter and number combination, then you may need flood insurance. This depends on the potential severity of the flooding, so make sure to check with your insurance company to see if you need flood insurance or not.
Check Flood Insurance Maps
If you felt that your FEMA flood zone designation isn’t enough, then use the flood insurance maps tool. FEMA also provides this, and it starts out looking very much the same as your FEMA flood map. However, you need to take an extra step and click on the map itself to pull up the boundaries of the community surrounding your home. Once you do, you’ll see some additional information that can help you make the important decision on whether or not you need flood insurance.
Don’t Forget About the National Risk Index
While the FEMA flood zone maps and the flood insurance maps contain current information about your risk of flooding, the national risk index maps are a little different. They break down the United States by county, and use a color-coded system to inform you of what the general natural disaster risks are in the area. These can include everything from flooding to strong winds and even earthquakes. The additional information on the map can be used to help you make an informed decision.
If all of that sounds a bit too complicated and you’re still wondering if you need a flood insurance policy – we’ve got you covered! Call our team at Charlotte Insurance today, and we’ll be happy to help ensure your home is fully protected and all your flood insurance policy needs are met.