Coastal Home Flood Insurance
This part 2 on coastal home insurance tips by
North Carolina Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Group
Is flood insurance required? How much does it cost?
I think we have already answered the question, but I do want to mention the common misconception where people say “I am not in a flood zone.” Everyone is in a flood zone. Even though FEMA has recently changed the rules and some of their terminology, they acknowledge and want it known that some homes may have less risk to be damaged by flood waters than others, but everyone is in a flood zone of some sort. Homes are still determined to be in either a preferred risk or higher risk flood zones for mortgage purposes, and historically about 25% of claims have occurred in the lower risk areas. So even though the lender may not require a flood insurance policy, you may still want to inquire with your insurance agent about obtaining a policy. On average, flood insurance policies in the lower risk areas will run between $600 and $700 a year for the maximum amount of coverage of $250,000 dwelling and $100,000 contents with a policy through NFIP. If you are in a higher risk area the prices may be higher based on the construction of the house and how it may conform to the risk. Having certified flood vents, being raised on pilings or reducing the amount of enclosure underneath a raised home can help to reduce the costs of flood insurance in the higher risk areas.
What areas cost more money and why?
I can’t speak for all companies but we regularly see that the homes South and East of the ICWW (Beach) have a higher risk of damage from wind and the insurance rates reflect that. As mentioned before some companies have tiered rates for the coastal areas. There may be a rate for the beach zip codes, a rate for the eastern coastal zip codes and then a less expensive rate for the western coastal zip codes. Often the proximity to water may determine the cost of the flood insurance you may need. There are several websites that you can access that may help you see the risk of flood to a property. FEMA has the maps readily accessible for the public.
When a storm comes, how do I know if my home is covered by wind/hail or flood insurance?
I would recommend having copies of your insurance policies at home and also available electronically so that you can access them if you are forced to leave your home due to a fire or hurricane. It’s always good to have a relationship with your insurance agent so that you can check with them at claim time. If you prefer to conduct your business online without the assistance of an agent, you’ll want to know what site(s) or phone numbers to contact for the claim. Of course, if you are preparing for a storm, you may want to contact your insurance agent with any questions.
If I live in a condo, what kind of insurance do I need?
If you live in a condo that has a master policy or the HOA/COA has an insurance policy that covers the main structures or the outside of a building and the roof, you may still want or need to have a policy to cover the inside of your unit. These policies are often referred to as form HO6 or “walls in” policies. They will offer dwelling coverage for the inside of the unit for walls, ceilings, flooring, cabinets, etc. They often will cover losses where the master policy leaves off, as the master policy may help with your loss inside the unit to a point. The HO6 will also provide coverage for contents, liability and loss of use.
My name is Tyson Borum, and I am an Insurance agent with North Carolina Farm Bureau Insurance. My office is located at 5815 Oleander Dr Ste. 340, Wilmington NC 28403 in the offices at Bradley Creek Station. I have been a licensed insurance agent in Wilmington, NC since 2007 and specialize in personal lines of insurance including Home, Auto, Life and Health. I am available 7 days a week to help with insurance needs and can be reached at 910-332-9900 (office), 910-619-8592 (mobile) or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.