How to Assess Your Home’s Flood Risk to Determine the Proper Level of Flood Insurance

Did you know that 12% of American households live in a flood zone and do not even know it? That is scary indeed. Do you know if you live in a flood zone? If not there are ways to find out. The easiest way is to go down to the city or county planning department and ask. They’ll show you the maps of the flood zones with overlays for the 50-year flood, 100-year flood and the elevations of the city or county area. This is serious stuff.

Another huge issue is most home owner’s insurance policies do not cover flood damage. Some that do only cover floods from broken pipes, but not full on floods that take out half the city. Worse, most insurance companies also know where the flood zones are and specifically “Will Not” cover those areas. Imagine being in a huge flood after a big storm, levee break or Hurricane and find out after it’s all over that you are not covered.

Many folks see a Hurricane coming for their city and run right out and buy flood insurance, guess what? Most policies have a 30-day wait period, so you are without luck on that one. Thanks to GIS and GPS data most cities can watch virtual reality type presentations of what will occur if it let’s say rains for 5 inches in 5 hours or 10 inches of rain in 10-hours and the animation can run on their computers.