Although it is a significant distance from the coast, the city of Charlotte, NC is not immune to the damaging effects of hurricane-related floods. In 2018 alone, residents of this city saw significant flooding after being hammered by heavy rains caused by hurricanes Florence and Michael. Fortunately, many were protected by flood insurance policies. Are you?
Flood insurance does not go into effect until 30 days after purchase, so do not wait until a flood is imminent to buy a policy. A local independent insurance agent in Charlotte can help you get this important coverage.
What Is Flood Insurance?
Flood damage is not covered by standard insurance policies like home insurance, renters insurance, and business insurance. Because the damage caused by rising waters can be so devastating, with the potential to wipe out entire neighborhoods, the federal government stepped in to help.
In 1968, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which provides affordable policies to people in need. Coverage is guaranteed, and policyholders are not penalized for filing claims. Residents of cities that are NFIP participants can get subsidized flood insurance coverage, and the cities are required to take steps to minimize the occurrence of flooding.
How Much Does Flood Insurance Cost in Charlotte, NC?
You can only purchase flood insurance through the NFIP. Rates for coverage are standard across the United States and are based on:
- Whether your property is in a designated flood zone
- How much structural coverage you are purchasing
- How much contents coverage you are purchasing
- The amount of your deductible
Talk to a local independent insurance agent for help comparing quotes for different levels of coverage.
Average Rainfall and Flooding in Charlotte
Charlotte gets more rainfall than the average US city.
- US average annual rainfall: 38.61 inches
- Charlotte average annual rainfall: 41.63 inches
When hurricanes and tropical storms blow through the area, they often bring days of heavy rainfall.
As little as two inches of rain per hour can quickly lead to flash flooding in the Charlotte area. This is especially true for residents who live near any of the many creeks and streams that run through the area. Little Sugar Creek and Stewart Creek have a high probability of experiencing debris blockage, and this can increase the risk of flooding for residents who are close to the blockage.
Flooding can occur with very little warning, but in Charlotte, this damage is more likely in the wake of a tropical storm.
Do I Need Flood Insurance in Charlotte, NC?
Charlotte is a participant in the NFIP and relies on FEMA-drawn flood maps. Mortgage lenders will require you to purchase flood insurance if your property is located in what is considered a Special Flood Hazard Area. If you live in a low- or moderate-risk area, your lender may or may not require this coverage.
About 20,000 acres of land in Mecklenburg County are on a designated flood plain, and there are more than 2,900 residences on this land.
Just because your home or business is not located in a flood zone does not mean you are not at risk. Flooding can happen anywhere, even to properties located on hills. About 25% of all flood claims filed by property owners in Mecklenburg County are for properties that are located outside designated flood zones.
What Does Flood Insurance Cover?
Flood insurance has two parts: structural coverage and contents coverage. If you are a renter, you will only need to purchase contents coverage. If you have very little personal property that is at risk, you may want to consider structural coverage only. You can purchase different coverage amounts for each of these aspects, up to a limit.
Flood insurance structure coverage:
Homeowners can purchase a maximum of $250,000 in structural coverage, while businesses have a limit of $500,000. This insurance covers damages to your electrical systems, plumbing systems, water heater, air conditioner, built-in appliances, and your property’s foundation.
Flood insurance contents coverage:
Homeowners can purchase a maximum of $100,000 in contents coverage, while businesses have a limit of $500,000. This covers personal belongings kept on main living floors such as electronics, clothing, and carpeting, as well as appliances such as your washing machine, dryer, and freezer, even if they are kept in your basement.
What Is Not Covered by Flood Insurance?
Flood insurance does not cover all flood-related damage. Some things your policy will not cover include:
- Damage that occurred within 30 days of your policy purchase
- Personal belongings kept in your basement, even if it is a finished basement
- Damage caused by earth movement like landslides
- Mold, mildew, or moisture cleanup and remediation
- Personal property kept outside your home
- Currency and important papers
Talk to your local independent insurance agent for more information about the limitations of a flood insurance policy.
Why Work with an Independent Agent in Charlotte, NC?
Independent agents in Charlotte can offer you guidance and advice when you are shopping for flood insurance. They can also provide answers to any of your insurance-related questions. Contact an insurance agent in Charlotte to learn more about flood insurance and other insurance products that may be beneficial to you.
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