Hurricane Floyd caused the Tar River to overflow its banks, and parts of the city of Greenville suffered a 500-year flood. The resultant damage exceeded $1.5 billion in Pitt County alone. Greenville remains vulnerable to flash flooding during torrential downpours and when hurricanes and tropical storms make landfall on the North Carolina coast. That is why many in this city have flood insurance. Flood insurance takes 30 days to go into effect, so do not wait until heavy rains are imminent to make a purchase. An independent insurance agent in Greenville can help you secure a suitable, yet affordable, policy.
What Is Flood Insurance?
Standard insurance policies like home, renters, and business stopped covering flood damage in the 1950s and early 1960s because the hazard was simply too expensive to insure. This became a problem since major floods had the potential to wipe out entire neighborhoods and destroy people’s financial well-being — and there was nothing that anyone could do to protect themselves.
That is why, in 1968, the federal government created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This program enables individuals and business owners to 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. In return, residents can get subsidized flood coverage.
How Much Does Flood Insurance Cost in Greenville, NC?
Flood insurance rates are standard across the United States. Your cost will be based on:
- Whether your property is located in a high-risk, medium-risk, or low-risk area: Risks are determined according to FEMA-drawn flood maps. Property owners in low-risk areas can get Preferred Risk policies at significantly lower rates.
- How much coverage you are purchasing: You can decide how much structural and how much contents coverage to purchase, up to a designated limit.
- The amount of your deductible: The higher your deductible, the lower your cost
You cannot be penalized with higher rates for filing a flood insurance claim. Also, if your property is located in a high-risk flood zone, you cannot be turned down for coverage. Talk to an independent insurance agent in Greenville to find out how much a flood insurance policy will cost you.
Average Rainfall and Flooding in Greenville
The city of Greenville sees significantly more rainfall than most of the country.
- US average annual rainfall: 38.61 inches
- Greenville average annual rainfall: 49.62 inches
Greenville is not just at risk for flooding due to rainfall. Storm surges caused by hurricanes and tropical storms can cause the Tar River to swell and overflow its banks. Tar River tributaries, like Greens Hill Run, Meeting House Branch, and Hardee Creek, can also overflow, leading to widespread flooding.
Do I Need Flood Insurance in Greenville, NC?
Because Greenville is an NFIP participating city, if your property is located in a designated 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, but highly recommended.
Even homes and businesses outside floodplains can experience flood damage. In Greenville, almost 25% of all flood claims are made by property owners in low-risk areas. Though some people think that they will get sufficient help from FEMA if their home floods, this comes only in the form of guaranteed low-interest loans that must be paid back. Flood insurance compensates for losses.
What Does Flood Insurance Cover?
Flood policies are made up of two parts: structural insurance and contents insurance. 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 water heaters, electrical and plumbing systems, built-in appliances, furnaces, 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 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 who have finished basements are often surprised to learn that the property in their basement is not covered by flood insurance. The only exceptions are appliances normally kept in a basement (e.g., washer, dryer, freezer) and permanent carpeting over unfinished floors. Flood insurance also will not cover:
- Mold, mildew and moisture cleanup
- Structural damage caused by earth movement like landslides
- Property outside your home, such as decks, pools, and landscaping
- Currency and important documents
- Loss of income due to business interruption
- Temporary living expenses if you must leave your home during clean-up
- 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 Greenville, NC?
You can turn to an independent insurance agent in Greenville for help when you are shopping for coverage against floods. These local professionals can be a wonderful resource for all of your insurance-related needs.
Contact an insurance agent near you to learn more.
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