Do I Really Need Flood Insurance?

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By: Christel Silver Special to the Boca and Delray newspapers
What is a flood?  A flood is an overflow of water usually over dry land. It could also be the inflow of a tide. It may occur as overflow from river, lake, or ocean. One would think that beach homes are the ones to mostly flood, but this is wrong. Most floods occur inland. Floods often cause damage to homes and businesses.
They are the most common and costly natural disaster and they can happen anywhere. Twenty percent of all floods happen to properties outside the high-risk flood area. That is one reason why everyone should have flood insurance.
Did you know that less than one-third of all homes in Houston had flood insurance? These people have to request help from FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) or SBA (US Small Business Administration), and they only help once the President declares the area or the State to be a Disaster Area. Usually the help does not cover all the damage and may have to be paid back in some cases – while the flood insurance handles above the deductible amount.
Palm Beach County has redone the flood map, the first time since 1982, and the new map became effective on Oct. 5. The homeowners within a new flood zone should have been notified already.
Here is some information: if your insurance premium is raised substantially, you can apply for a gradual increase. Call your insurance provider for more information.
Everybody in a flood zone and holding a mortgage must buy flood insurance and it is typically collected monthly with your mortgage payment. The flood zones starting with the letter A or V are considered high-risk flood zones if they have a one percent chance of flooding every year. All other flood zones (starting with the letters B, C, or X) are not required to buy flood insurance.
Your mortgage lender may require flood insurance, even if you are not in a high-risk flood zone.
In order to determine whether you are in a flood zone, you need an Elevation Certificate, which can be ordered online. You can also go to CoreLogic and request a Flood Zone Determination ($12) if you live in a high-risk flood zone.
The government has the National Flood Insurance program, which was just extended by President Trump until December. Congress will have to deal with this issue for the future.
You should contact your home insurance provider and discuss your options.
About Christel Silver
Christel Silver is a full time Broker/Owner of Silver International Realty servicing the East Coast of South Florida. In 1985 she was licensed in Maryland and Washington DC as a Realtor and later as a Certified Residential Appraiser and Associate Broker and has been in Florida since 2001. The National Association of Realtor’s (NAR) President appointed her (2010-2014) as the President’s Liaison to Germany, where she grew up and worked at the Justice Department for 17 years prior to coming to this country. The Germany Real Estate Organization (IVD) has an agreement with the NAR and she is an International member of this organization. Christel is a Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS), and a certified speaker teaching CIPS classes. Ms. Silver served the Florida Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) Chapter as President, as Regional Vice President helping Chapters to grow, and as a member of the Board of Directors for two years. She served previously as an ambassador.  Fifty percent of her business is in the International arena. For more information visit www.silverhouses.com.