Why Do I Need Flood Insurance?


Flooding can occur anywhere, anytime. Even if you are not required by your lender to have flood insurance, serious consideration should be given to purchasing it anyway. Flooding in Walton County can come from surges generated by a coastal tropical storm, or from rising waters due to heavy inland rains or stormwater runoff.

Hazard insurance may cover fire and wind damage, but almost never covers damage from flooding. Flooding is by far nature's most common natural disaster. Damages associated with floods can easily total $25,000 or more. One fact to consider is that 25% of all flood insurance claims are for structures outside of the area of special flood hazard. Just because your home or business is located outside of the area of special flood hazard doesn’t mean that you are not susceptible to flooding. Just because you haven’t experienced a flood in the past, doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. Flood risk isn’t just based on history, it’s also based on a number of factors: rainfall, river-flow and tidal-surge data, topography, flood-control measures, and changes due to building and development.

Because Walton County participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), all county residents, with some exceptions within Coastal Barrier Resource Areas, qualify to purchase NFIP flood insurance.

Without flood insurance, losses due to flooding must be paid out of pocket. Some limited relief might be obtainable through government aid such as low interest loans. Government assistance is offered only when the President makes an official disaster declaration. Less than 50% of flooding events are "declared disasters".

Flood insurance is mandatory if you have a federally backed mortgage on a home in a high risk area, or you have received a federal grant for previous flood losses and you wish to qualify for future aid

A flood policy can cover flood debris cleanup, structural damage, household appliances and utilities damaged by floodwater, and building finishes such as sheetrock, trim, and flooring.

Contents coverage can cover furniture, collectibles, artwork, clothing, shoes, accessories, etc.

Additional coverage may be available for dislocation expenses such as rent, hotel stays, meals, etc.

The maximum coverage limits under a standard flood policy are $250,000 for a single family home structure ($500,000 for businesses) and $100,000 for single-family home contents (500,000 for businesses). The coverage limit for contents for a renter is $100,000.

Structures located in lower risk areas, such as Zone X, may qualify for a "preferred risk" policy which provides the same coverage at substantially lower rates. Premiums can be as low as $119 a year for $20,000 of coverage.

Don’t wait until it is too late to buy a flood insurance policy. Typically, there's a 30-day waiting period—from date of purchase—before your policy goes into effect.

For More Information on Flood Insurance

Your homeowner's insurance agent most likely can provide you with all the information you need and answer any questions you have. Additional information can be obtained directly from the National Flood Insurance Program or by calling 1-888-379-9531.

Insurance Reviews: This link provides an overview and rating of various Corporations offering flood insurance by "Reviews.com", a private company based in Seattle, Washington. Please read all disclaimers, etc. before making any decisions regarding your insurance purchases.