In October 2015, many residents of Orangeburg found their homes and businesses damaged by floodwaters. At that time, the South Carolina midlands had been inundated with four days of heavy rain, which resulted in widespread area flooding. While this thousand-year flood was an anomaly, the risk of flooding still persists in the Orangeburg area. Flood insurance can help.
Flood insurance takes 30 days to go into effect, so don't wait until a hurricane is on track to make landfall to purchase a policy. An independent insurance agent in Orangeburg can help you protect your property with suitable, yet affordable, flood insurance coverage. Find an insurance agent near you to learn more.
What Is Flood Insurance?
Homeowners insurance, renters insurance, and business insurance go a long way toward covering your assets and protecting your finances. However, these policies don't cover against flood damage. Fortunately, in 1968 the US federal government created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to protect property owners from losing everything due to floods.
Flood insurance is a federally backed policy that provides affordable coverage to property owners, renters, and businesses. You cannot be turned down for coverage, and your rates will not increase following a flood claim. Talk to a local independent insurance agent to learn more.
How Much Does Flood Insurance Cost in Orangeburg, SC?
Rates for flood insurance coverage are standard across the United States. These rates are 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. 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 to include in your policy, up to a designated limit.
- The amount of your deductible: The lower your deductible, the higher your cost.
- Whether your property has a basement: Homes with basements are generally less expensive to insure.
Talk to an independent insurance agent to learn how much a flood insurance policy for your Orangeburg home or business will cost you.
Average Rainfall and Flooding in Orangeburg
The city of Orangeburg gets more rainfall than most of the country.
- US average annual rainfall: 38.61 inches
- Orangeburg, SC average annual rainfall: 46.97 inches
When prolonged heavy rains fall, the ground can quickly become saturated, drainage systems can be overwhelmed, and waterways like the North Fork Edisto River can over flow their banks. This can cause flash flooding that can result in widespread, expensive damage.
Do I Need Flood Insurance in Orangeburg, SC?
Mortgage companies require property owners in high-risk flood zones to carry flood insurance. Depending on your lender, this coverage may or may not be required if you live in a medium-risk area. Once you own your property outright, flood insurance is optional, but highly recommended.
FEMA estimates that as a little as one inch of water in your home can cause up to $25,000 in damage. While residents with property near the North Fork Edisto River are most at risk, flash floods can affect nearly anyone in Orangeburg. In fact, about 20% of all flood insurance claims filed are for properties that are located in low-risk zones.
Also, while you may think that that you can forgo flood insurance because FEMA will help pay to rebuild following a major storm, FEMA’s assistance only comes if the area is declared a federal disaster, and the help comes merely in the form of guaranteed low-interest loans that must be paid back. Flood insurance can prove much more cost-effective.
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.
- Structural coverage: This covers damage to your property’s foundation as well as structural equipment such as electrical systems, plumbing, water heaters, furnaces, built-in appliances, and permanently installed carpeting over unfinished floors. Homeowners can purchase a maximum of $250,000 in structural coverage, while businesses may purchase up to $500,000.
- Contents coverage: This covers personal belongings kept on main living floors such as furniture, clothing, electronics, portable appliances, and carpeting. In basements, it covers only appliances that are normally kept in that part of the house 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, other than appliances that are normally kept in a basement, personal property stored in this area of the home is not covered by flood insurance.
Additionally, flood insurance will not cover:
- Remediation of mold and mildew
- Outdoor property including swimming pools, lawn furniture, trees, landscaping, wells, and septic systems
- Structural damage caused by earth movement like mudslides, even if it is the direct result of the flood
- Currency and documents
- Claims for damage that occurred 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 Orangeburg, SC?
You can ask an independent insurance agent in Orangeburg for assistance when you're shopping for flood insurance. These insurance professionals live and work in your community, so they understand the risks you face when it comes to floods and other natural disasters.
Contact an insurance agent near you to learn more about flood insurance as well as any other insurance products that may be beneficial to you.
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