Understanding Flood Zones, Flood Insurance, and FEMA

Understanding Flood Zones, Flood Insurance, and FEMA

The team at Lend Smart Mortgage is here to offer informative information to help our customers make smart decisions when they are looking to buy or refinance a home. With the hurricanes that have brought devastating floods, flood insurance is important to understand. With or without flood insurance coverage, what the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) does is also important to know.

The Designated Flood Zones

FEMA has clearly defined what areas are highly prone to flooding as well as those areas that have moderate and minimal risks. Those areas that are highly prone to flooding require flood insurance. If your land is located in a moderate or minimal risk area, it does not mean you will not experience a flooding experience. To know what zone your property resides, this is where you want to look.

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

On NFIP website, you should be able to find all the answers regarding flood insurance. We have outlined a few of your questions: What does it cover? How to obtain it? What does it cost?

What does it cover? (A quick and informative video.)

  • Maximum coverage for your home is "$250,000."
  • Maximum coverage for contents is "$100,000."
    • Renters can also purchase flood insurance for contents up to "$100.000."
  • Note the items that cannot be insured: "detached garages, original artwork, and priceless memories."
    • Ask your insurance agent for further information about basement coverage.
    • Ask your insurance agent about your car.
  • If your home is valued higher than $250,000, ask your insurance agent about additional coverage that you may have available to purchase.

How can you get flood insurance and what does it cost? (A video to guide you.)

  • Ask your insurance agent if they participate in the NFIP.
    • You can cover your home, your contents or both.
  • Your agent will explain what determines your cost.
    • No matter what agent, the costs will be the same.
    • Factors determining the costs can be seen in this video.
      • Is your home in a floodplain?
      • The year your home was built
      • Is your home compliant with local floodplain ordinances?.
      • Is this your primary residence?
      • The elevation of the lowest floor of your home?
      • Your deductible amount.
      • Your flood risk according to the flood zones.
  • If you live in a high-risk area, you must pay upfront for a full year.
    • Important to remember: Flood insurance takes up to 30 days to be effective.
  • If you live in a moderate to low risk area, you may be able to take a lower payment option.
    • Ask your insurance agent about the coverage amount with a lower, flood insurance premium.
  • FloodSmart is where you can find this information and more.

What FEMA Does Following a Natural Disaster?

It is important to understand how FEMA works to help people devastated by natural disasters. The most important thing to know is that they do not cover anyone with the amounts that a flood insurance policy will cover. Per FEMA, "if your home was impacted by a major disaster we recommend that you apply for assistance." They may be able to help with additional, financial assistance that your insurance does not cover.

If you live in a zone that does not require insurance, you would want to contact FEMA if you should experience a natural disaster such as flooding. FEMA determines the amount of financial assistance by its set rules, regulations, and guidelines. Printing the FEMA natural disaster information is a good idea, especially if you elect not to take out a flood insurance policy.

Our Team Makes Buying a Home Easier

Lend Smart Mortgage is made up of a proactive team. We work hard to help our customers get the home they want with a mortgage that makes sense for them. We make it our mission to help our customers make smart decisions. When our customers refer or return to us, we know we have done our job the right way, and that is the smart way. We're here when you need the right team to help you close on your next home.

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