Do I need flood insurance?
Flooding can occur anywhere, anytime.
Even if you are not required to have flood insurance, serious consideration should be given to purchasing it anyway.
Homeowners' insurance may cover fire and wind damage, but virtually never covers damage from flooding; nature's most common natural disaster. Damages associated with floods can easily total $25,000 or more.
The City of Corpus Christi joined the National Flood Insurance program in 1971 and has continued efforts to exceed the NFIPs minimum standards. This means all residents qualify to apply for NFIP flood insurance.
Without flood insurance, losses must be covered out of pocket. Some limited relief might be obtainable through government aid. But, government assistance is not available automatically. It is offered only when the President makes an official disaster declaration. Less than half of flooding events are "declared disasters". Declarations require rather widespread damage. Most often, when government aid is available, it comes in the form of an interest-bearing loan.
Flood insurance is mandatory if you have a federally backed mortgage on a home in a Special Flood Hazard Area or you have received a federal grant for previous flood losses and you wish to qualify for future aid.
A Flood Policy can cover:
- Structural damage
- Household appliances
- Flood debris cleanup
- Wall to wall carpeting
Contents Coverage can cover:
- Clothing, shoes, accessories
Added coverage may be available for dislocation expenses such as rent, hotel stays, meals, etc.
The maximum coverage limits under a standard flood policy are $250,000 for a single-family home structure ($500,000 for businesses) and $100,000 for single-family home contents ($500,000 for businesses). The coverage limit for renter contents is $100,000.
Property owners living in lower-risk areas may qualify for a "preferred risk" policy that provides the same coverage at substantially lower rates.
There is normally a 30-day waiting period when purchasing a new policy. Flood insurance is sold through private insurance companies and agents and is backed by the federal government.
Homeowners in Special Flood Hazard Areas (high-risk flood zones) must buy flood insurance if they have a mortgage from a federally regulated lender.
Homes located outside the high-risk flood zone areas need flood insurance too. Nationally, 98% of counties have experienced a flooding event- 81% of damaged properties were outside the high-risk flood areas.
If you are renting a home or apartment, flood insurance contents coverage is available from the NFIP to protect your valuables and belongings.
Community Rating System
The National Flood Insurance Program’s (NFIP’s) Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes communities for implementing floodplain management practices that exceed the Federal minimum requirements of the NFIP to provide protection from flooding.
In exchange for a community's proactive efforts to reduce flood risk, policyholders can receive reduced flood insurance premiums for buildings in the community. These reduced premiums reflect the reduced flood risk resulting from community efforts toward achieving the three CRS goals:
- Reduce flood damage to insurable property
- Strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the NFIP
- Encourage a comprehensive approach to floodplain management.
The City of Corpus Christi joined the NFIP in 1971 is currently a class 8 in the Community Rating System, which qualifies residents for a 10% discount on flood insurance premiums for properties located in the 1% annual chance floodplain or Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) and %5 for properties located outside the SFHA.
FOR MORE INFORMATION
For more information about obtaining flood insurance for both your structure and contents, contact your insurance agent or visit FloodSmart | The National Flood Insurance Program
Your homeowner's insurance agent most likely can provide you with all the information you need and answer any questions you have.
If not, additional information can be obtained from FloodSmart.gov.