Few will ever forget the massive flooding that occurred in Wilmington, thanks to Hurricane Florence. With roads to the city rendered impassable, Wilmington was cut off from the rest of state, making clean-up and rescue efforts even more difficult. Fortunately, many in this city were protected by flood insurance. Are you? Flood insurance does not go into effect until 30 days after the policy is purchased, so do not wait until the start of the hurricane season to consider buying it. A local independent insurance agent in Wilmington can help you obtain this important coverage.
What Is Wilmington Flood Insurance?
Because of the overwhelming costs, flood damage is not covered by standard insurance policies like home, renters, and business insurance. Unfortunately, the destruction caused by rising waters can be incredibly devastating, with the potential to bankrupt individuals and businesses and to wipe out entire neighborhoods. That is why the federal government stepped in to help.
In 1968, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which provides affordable policies to people in high-risk areas. 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 city is required to take steps to minimize the occurrence of flooding. Wilmington is an NFIP-participating city.
How Much Does Flood Insurance Cost in Wilmington, NC?
The average amount paid for flood insurance in the US is $700 a year. 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 obtaining and comparing quotes for different levels of coverage.
Average Rainfall and Flooding in Wilmington
Wilmington gets a lot more rainfall than the average US city.
- US average annual rainfall: 38.61 inches
- Wilmington average annual rainfall: 57.67 inches
When hurricanes and tropical storms make landfall, storm surges and heavy rainfall can lead to widespread flooding in cities close to the coast. In Wilmington, it is not uncommon for these storms to cause waterways like Banks Channel, Lees Cut, and Bradley Creek to overflow their banks and flood area homes and businesses.
Do I Need Flood Insurance in Wilmington, NC?
Because Wilmington is a participant in the NFIP, it 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. Just a few months before Florence flooded this city, FEMA had redrawn the flood maps, adding about 500 homes and businesses to the Special Flood Hazard Areas.
This may have saved the finances of many homeowners who had previously gone without flood insurance but were then required to purchase it. Of course, just because your home or business is not located in a high-risk area does not mean you are not at risk for flood damage. Flooding can happen anywhere. In fact, nearly 25% of all flood claims filed by property owners in North Carolina are for properties that are located outside designated flood zones.
What Does Wilmington 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 components, up to a designated limit.
Flood insurance: Structural coverage:
Homeowners may purchase a maximum of $250,000 in structural coverage, while businesses have a limit of $500,000. This insurance covers damage to your electrical systems, plumbing systems, water heater, air conditioner, built-in appliances, and your property’s foundation.
Flood insurance: Contents coverage:
Homeowners and renters may purchase a maximum of $100,000 in contents coverage, while businesses have a limit of $500,000. This can cover 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 Wilmington Flood Insurance?
Be aware that 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 in your basement, even if it is a finished basement (with the exception of your washer, dryer, and freezer)
- Damage that is the result of earth movement like landslides, even if flood-related
- Mold, mildew, and moisture removal and remediation
- Property kept outside your home
- Currency and important papers like bonds and stock certificates
- Temporary housing while clean-up is carried out
Talk to a local independent insurance agent for more information about the limitations of a flood insurance policy.
Why Work with an Independent Agent in Wilmington, NC?
Independent insurance agents in Wilmington 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 and can help you find the best and most affordable policies to meet all of your coverage needs.
Contact an insurance agent in Wilmington to learn more about flood insurance and other insurance products that may be beneficial to you.
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