Even though the Houston metropolitan area has taken many proactive steps to ease flooding, the “Bayou City” gets overwhelmed by rising water from time to time. These floods may be caused by heavy rainfall, hurricanes, tornados, or even backed up storm drains. That is why it is very important to assess your risks and make sure you have a Houston, TX flood insurance policy to cover your home and business.
When you are looking to purchase a flood insurance policy, you can turn to an independent insurance agent in the Trusted Choice® network for help. There are thousands of member agents across the United States and many have offices right here in Houston. These agents can help you evaluate your risks, review your current policies, and present you with San Antonio flood insurance quotes for different levels of coverage. Contact a local agent today for more information.
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was created by the federal government in the 1960s as a means to provide citizens with a way to avoid the financial devastation that floods can bring. Until then, if your home was destroyed by a flood, you had no option other than to accept a low-interest loan from FEMA and begin rebuilding from scratch. This is because homeowners insurance policies and other "multi-peril" policies (like business insurance, condo insurance, etc.) rarely include coverage for flood damage.
Rates are standard across the country and are determined by your flood risk and the amount of coverage you purchase. Residents in high-risk flood zones cannot be turned down for this insurance, and your rates will not increase if you file a claim. You may be surprised by how inexpensive a policy is. Rates start at just $129 a year and the average amount that Texas residents pay for their policies is $570 a year.
If your home is in a high-risk flood zone, flood insurance coverage was most likely required by your mortgage lender at the time of purchase. For those outside these zones, coverage is optional.
Floods can occur anywhere, however, and a surprising number of flood claims come from homeowners who live outside of designated high-risk areas. In fact, a majority of the Houston-area homes that were damaged by the floods in the wake of Hurricane Allison were outside of the FEMA-designated flood zones.
The Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 was enacted by congress to keep flood insurance solvent. It institutes several changes in the way the NFIP is run. One important feature of this new legislation is that local governments and FEMA must work together to reassess and redraw flood-zone maps.
As a result of this mapping effort, many more homes and businesses are now considered to be in designated flood-zones. Subsequently, more home and business owners are now required to purchase Houston flood insurance. The city purchased and demolished almost 3,000 homes in flood-prone areas and the land was left vacant as a natural flood plain. As a result, many urban areas in the Houston area are left with expanses of natural land. Sometimes this land is made into parks or walking trails to use during dry weather.
Flood insurance policies offer two types of coverage, one for the structure of your home and the other for its contents. You can opt to purchase only one type of coverage or both, depending on your situation. Most homeowners purchase both. If you rent your home, however, you may only want contents coverage. On the other hand, a landlord might only want structural coverage.
Building coverage includes compensation for damages to the structure of the home including its foundation, furnaces and air conditioning units, plumbing and electrical systems, built-in appliances, and permanently installed carpeting over unfinished floors. Contents coverage includes compensation for loss or damage to furniture, clothing, curtains, electronics, flooring, and portable appliances such as window air-conditioners.
Flood insurance has limited protection for contents in your finished basement, so make sure you understand what is and is not covered on your Houston flood insurance policy. In most cases, these policies also do not go into effect until 30 days after they have been purchased, so do not wait until heavy rains make flooding imminent.
Though all NFIP flood insurance policies are provided by the government, you can obtain your policy through a licensed insurance agent. Getting a flood insurance policy for your home is easy with the help of an independent agent in the Trusted Choice network. Your local member agent can assist you by answering your questions and helping you to get the right coverage for your needs.
Your agent can do more than just help you secure a flood insurance policy for your home or business. Agents are available to assist you with all your insurance-related needs and questions and may even be able to find ways to save you money on your other insurance policies. Contact an agent in your neighborhood today to start reviewing Houston flood insurance quotes for various levels of coverage.