Most residents of Lexington still remember the great flood of 2015. In October of that year, the South Carolina midlands were hammered with four days of relentless rain that dropped up to 20 inches of water on some neighborhoods. This led to Lexington and surrounding areas experiencing a devastating thousand-year flood.
Those who had flood insurance were covered against many of the losses they sustained. Are you? Flood insurance policies take 30 days to go into effect, so don't wait until heavy rain is imminent to make a purchase. An independent insurance agent in Lexington can help you secure suitable, yet affordable, coverage.
What Is Flood Insurance?
Conventional insurance policies like home insurance, renters insurance, and business insurance don't cover flood damage if the flooding is caused by rising waters. This became a problem, 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 created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This program aims to reduce the impact of flooding on private and public structures by providing flood insurance to property owners, renters, and businesses.
Cities that are participants in the NFIP are required to take steps to reduce and minimize the damaging effects of floods. Lexington is an NFIP participant.
How Much Does Flood Insurance Cost in Lexington, South Carolina?
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 participates in the NFIP: If so, you can get federally subsidized coverage that costs about half as much as coverage in non-participating cities. Lexington is an NFIP participant.
- Whether your property is located in a high-risk, medium-risk, or low-risk area: Risks are determined according to flood maps drawn by FEMA. 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.
- Whether your house as a basement: Homes with basements cost less to insure because there is less risk of damage to expensive property.
Also, because Lexington is an NFIP participant and has demonstrated a commitment to adopting floodplain management systems, residents are offered a 15% discount on flood insurance policies. Talk to a local insurance agent for help reviewing flood maps in the Lexington area and to learn how much a flood insurance policy will cost you.
Average Rainfall and Flooding in Lexington
The city of Lexington sees significantly more rainfall than most of the country.
- US average annual rainfall: 38.61 inches
- Lexington, SC average annual rainfall: 48.27 inches
Though this city is about 145 miles from the coast, tropical storms and hurricanes often bring extremely heavy rainfall to this area. This can cause sewer and drainage lines to back up. Also, waterways like Twelve Mile Creek, Fourteen Mile Creek, and Long Branch Creek can easily overflow their banks, leading to area flooding.
Do I Need Flood Insurance in Lexington, SC?
In July 2018, Lexington updated its flood map. The classification for many additional homes and businesses was changed to being in a high-risk flood area.
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 becomes optional.
Even homes and businesses outside designated flood zones can experience flood damage. In fact, nationwide, 20% of all flood claims are filed by homeowners who don't live in flood zones.
Though some people think that FEMA will help them pay to rebuild, the help comes merely 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 an unfinished floor. 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 a 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 a basement isn't covered by flood insurance.
Flood insurance also won't cover:
- Mold and mildew removal and remediation
- Structural damage caused by earth movement, even if it is the direct result of the flood
- Property stored outside your home, such as lawn furniture and above-ground pools
- Landscaping, trees, wells, or septic systems
- Currency and important documents
- Temporary accommodations if your home is made uninhabitable
- 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 Insurance Agent in Lexington, SC?
You can turn to an independent insurance agent in Lexington for assistance when you are shopping for flood insurance. These insurance professionals can serve as a great resource when it comes to all of your insurance needs.
Contact an insurance agent in Lexington to learn more about flood insurance and to get answers to any insurance-related questions you may have.
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