Did you know that 20 percent of flood insurance claims filed annually are by individuals living outside high risk flood areas? Do you know what flood zone you live in? Are you in an area that is considered a high risk for flooding? If so, it means you have a 25% chance of experiencing flooding in a 30 year period. That may not sound like much, but I bet you’d play the lottery if you had a 1 in 4 chance of winning. Does your community participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)? If not, then you cannot purchase flood insurance. However, most areas with a higher risk of flooding fortunately do participate. Check out floodsmart.gov for additional information about flood insurance.
Preferred Risk Policy
Most mortgage companies require the homeowner to purchase flood insurance if buying a house in a high risk area. If you are not required to have flood insurance you may still want to consider purchasing a “preferred risk policy”. Preferred risk policies are available at a reduced rate for individuals living outside flood-prone areas. If you choose not to acquire a policy and flooding does occur, then low interest rate loans may be available to help recover from the damage. However, the interest alone for these loans will likely be several times the annual premium for flood insurance. That doesn’t even include paying back the principal on the loan.
Let’s assume you have decided to opt for flood insurance, whether you live in a high risk area or not. What can you do to help bring down the cost of the policy? They may be able to save you money on your other policies because you have multiple policies through them, including your flood insurance. Next check with your community. Some newer communities, especially in higher risk areas, have made improvements to the landscape that mitigate the risk of flooding. Simply applying for a NFIP policy may not flag that these improvements have been completed.
Making modifications to your property or structure that may actually reduce the risk of flooding is another way to potentially save on flood insurance. This could include: raising the height of your house or constructing some earthen berms as part of your landscaping. Done correctly and this could help keep flood waters away from your house and improve your yard in the process. If you are doing any of these simply to save money on your flood insurance policy, check with your agent first. Community officials may have to be involved to validate the improvements and petition the NFIP on your behalf. But as a result, the savings could be considerable depending on where you live.
At Virginia Beach insurance company WBR Insurance we offer a full portfolio of policies, including small business flood insurance. We pride ourselves in establishing personal relationships with our customers to assist you in protecting what matters most. To get a free quote for your Virginia Beach flood insurance needs, give us a call at 757-340-0028 or visit our website www.WBRInsurance.com.
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