The city of Durham, NC is part of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Because of this, residents of Durham can receive federally subsidized flood insurance policies, even if their property is not located on a FEMA-designated flood plain. Is your property covered against the devastating damage an overflow event can bring? If not, you may want to consider buying flood insurance. Flood insurance policies take 30 days to go into effect, so do not wait until heavy rains are imminent to make a purchase. An independent insurance agent in Durham can help you secure suitable, yet affordable, coverage.
What Is Flood Insurance?
Insurance policies like home insurance, renters insurance, and business insurance offer a lot of protection, but they do not cover against flood damage if the flooding is caused by rising waters. This was a huge problem in the past, because major floods had the potential to wipe out entire neighborhoods and destroy people’s finances, and there was nothing that anyone could do to protect themselves.
That is why, in 1968, the federal government stepped up and created the National Flood Insurance Program. Through this program, individuals and business owners could purchase affordable flood insurance policies through a federally backed program. Cities that are participants in the NFIP are required to take steps to reduce and minimize the damaging effects of floods.
How Much Does Flood Insurance Cost in Durham, NC?
Rates for coverage are standard across the United States. Filing a flood insurance claim will not cause your rates to increase. Also, if your property is located in a high-risk flood zone, you cannot be turned down for coverage. Flood insurance costs are based on:
- Whether your city is part of the NFIP: If so, you can get federally subsidized coverage which costs about half as much as coverage in non-participating cities. Durham is an NFIP participant.
- Whether your property is located in a high-risk, medium-risk, or low-risk area: Risks are determined according to FEMA-drawn flood maps. Those in low-risk areas can get Preferred Risk policies at much lower rates.
- How much coverage you are purchasing: You can decide how much structural and contents coverage you wish you purchase, up to a designated limit.
- The amount of your deductible: the higher your deductible, the lower your cost
Talk to an independent insurance agent to learn how much a policy will cost you.
Average Rainfall and Flooding in Durham
The city of Durham sees significantly more rainfall than most of the country.
- US average annual rainfall: 38.61 inches
- Durham average annual rainfall: 48.1 inches
Tropical storms and hurricanes often bring extremely heavy rainfall, and this can cause sewer and drainage lines to back up. Also, bodies of water like the Twin Lakes and waterways like Little Lick Creek can easily overflow their banks, leading to area flooding.
Do I Need Flood Insurance in Durham, NC?
Because Durham is an NFIP-participating city, if your property is located in a Special Flood Hazard Area, your mortgage lender will require you to carry a flood insurance policy. Homeowners in low- or moderate-risk areas may or may not be required by lenders to have this coverage. Once your mortgage is paid in full, the coverage is optional. Even homes and businesses outside designated flood zones can experience flood damage. In Durham, nearly 25% of all flood claims are made by property owners in low-risk areas. Though some people think that FEMA will help them pay to rebuild, that help only comes in the form of guaranteed low-interest loans that must be paid back. Flood insurance is a far more economical option.
What Does Flood Insurance Cover?
Flood insurance is made up of two parts: structural coverage and contents coverage. Depending on your circumstances, you can opt to purchase just one or both types of coverage.
This covers damage to your property’s foundation and structural equipment such as electrical and plumbing systems, water heaters, furnaces, built-in appliances, and permanently installed carpeting over unfinished floors. Homeowners may purchase a maximum of $250,000 in structural coverage, while businesses may purchase up to $500,000.
This covers personal belongings kept on main living floors such as furniture, clothing, electronics, portable appliances, and carpeting. It also covers items normally kept in a basement such as your washing machine, dryer, and freezer. Homeowners can purchase a maximum of $100,000 in contents coverage, while businesses have a limit of $500,000. Talk to your local independent insurance agent for help determining how much of each type of coverage is right for you.
What Is Not Covered by Flood Insurance?
Homeowners with finished basements are often surprised to learn that outside of appliances normally kept in a basement, personal property stored in your basement is not covered by flood insurance. Flood insurance also will not cover:
- Mold and mildew removal and remediation
- Structural damage caused by earth movement, even if it is the direct result of a flood
- Property stored outside your home, such as lawn furniture and above-ground pools
- Currency and important documents
- Claims filed within 30 days of your policy purchase
Talk to your local independent insurance agent to learn more about the limitations of a flood insurance policy.
Why Work with an Independent Agent in Durham, NC?
You can turn to an independent agent in Durham for assistance when you are shopping for flood insurance. These insurance professionals can serve as a wonderful resource regarding all of your insurance needs.
Contact an insurance agent in Durham to learn more about flood insurance as well as any other insurance products that may be beneficial to you.
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