Living along the Connecticut shoreline, a question that often comes up is: “Do I need flood insurance?” It’s a good question to ask, especially since Floodsmart.gov has found that $25,000 worth of damage can incur from just one inch of water.
Flood insurance is backed the National Flood Insurance Program, a federal program. Homeowners, renters, and businesses are all eligible to get flood insurance, as flood damage is not covered through other policies.
When is Flood Insurance Required?
If you own a home in a high-risk flood area, your mortgage lender will require you to get flood insurance. It is not usually required for those that live in medium or low risk areas. While there are areas more susceptible to floods, flooding can happen anywhere. Even if flood insurance is not required for your home, you are still able to get a policy. It is important to talk to your insurance agent to get specific details for your homeowners and flood policies.
What does Flood Insurance cover?
Debbie Yother, Vice President of Sava Insurance Group, explains that flood insurance covers more than just storm damage.
“Flooding happens when water touches the ground before it enters your house, so it will also provide coverage for rain-related flood damage.”
Flood insurance will cover damages up to $250,000 on the home. This covers structural damage. For an additional premium, flood insurance will cover up to $100,000 for personal property damage. The average claim for flood damage is about $30,000. Keep in mind there is no waiting period if the flood policy is for a new property; however, there is a 30 day waiting period if you currently own the home. This means that if a big storm headed to your community, it is too late to get insured.
Do I live in a Flood Zone?
Since Connecticut has many shoreline communities, there is always the possibility of a flood or water damage. To determine if you reside in a flood zone, use the FEMA Flood Map, or speak with your insurance agent. Flood zones can change over time, so if you bought the house several years ago and it was in a medium-risk flood area, it could now be considered a high-risk area. If you are in a zone you you think will be remapped into a flood zone, you could save money if you get the coverage now.
“This is because the current flood zone will be grandfathered and, if selling your home, the policy can be transferred to the new owner, resulting in additional savings for them,” says Yother.
In Connecticut, over $5 million has been paid for flood losses in the past 40 years. This is more than flood insurance payments in any other New England State.
Connecticut Flood Loss Statistics – From 1978 to July 31, 2018 (statistics from FEMA)
|Closed Losses||Open Losses||CWOP Losses||Total Payments|
Flooding is an unpredictable natural occurrence. The most recent flood claim statistics from FEMA show that some years flood damage is virtually non-existent, while other years the number of claims skyrocket.
Connecticut Flood Claims (statistics from FEMA)
|October 2011 to October 2012||4,145|
|October 2012 to October 2013||6,258|
|October 2013 to October 2014||71|
|October 2014 to October 2015||17|
|October 2015 to October 2016||28|
How much is Flood Insurance?
If you are in a flood preferred flood zone or not in one at all, a flood insurance policy should range $200-$500 per year, depending on the amount of coverage you purchase. If you are in a standard zone, your rates will be determined on several factors. “You could save money by going to the private market,” Yother says. To get the best deal on flood insurance get in touch with an insurance agent today.