What You Need To Know About Flood Insurance

Owning a home is the American dream, but it can also be a massive headache when Mother Nature rears her head. Home insurance is a great protector of your asset, but there are some situations that may prevent you from getting the coverage you think you should have. Many insurance companies do not protect homes that are built in flood zones, so you want to make sure you know what the flood boundaries are prior to purchasing.

Reading the Flood Map

You can obtain the flood map of your area through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and it is provided by the National Flood Insurance Program. You will want to make sure to check the effective date, to ensure that the map is up to date on the current geographical layout. You can either view the map digitally or you can print it out. There is also a tutorial available to go with the map that will help you figure out how much of a risk your home is and how you should plan to insure it.

Handling Lenders Discrimination

While you may believe you are reading the map correctly, some lenders have a different idea of what makes a high flood hazard area. The map simply states when you are in an area that has a percent chance of a 100-year flood. If you disagree with your lender, then you will need to have a land surveyor come out and do a better inspection of the ground. They will also help you determine the next steps in making sure your insurance has provided full care. Unfortunately, the flood insurance looks at several risk factors, including the age of your home.

Obtaining Specialty Flood Insurance

Talking to your home owner's insurance agent is the best way to determine what type of flood insurance you qualify for and what you will need for your home. FEMA will also give you a determination if you request it and they will write a letter to take to your insurance agent. Just remember it is always better to have more insurance, so that there is less chance of you not having damage covered during a flood.

Most insurance companies look at a variety of conditions before deciding whether or not flood insurance is a requirement for your home. You can dispute it if you feel you are at an extremely low risk, but having a surveyor come and look at your property will give you the best analysis for the geographical layout. Finally, look into whether your neighborhood is part of the National Flood Insurance Program. If they do not participate in the program, you will not be able to get flood insurance or protection on your home.