Do I Need Flood Insurance?

No doubt you’ve heard about the recent flooding in Nashville, and you’ve likely heard stories of homeowners without flood insurance. And before Nashville, there were major floods in New Jersey, New England, New Orleans…

But who should buy insurance? Is it just for those next to creeks and rivers?

The first thing to know is:

Normal homeowners’ insurance does not cover floods. That is a fact, and it means that you must buy flood insurance separately.

But insurance companies are counting that you don’t. In many disasters, such as hurricanes, severe thunderstorms and even tornadoes, insurers have claimed that wind damage (which is covered) was actually caused by water damage (which is not). Flood insurance eliminates this coverage cop-out.

Okay, but I don’t live in a flood zone. Unfortunately, many federal flood maps are outdated, and roughly onequarter of all flood damage claims originate from low to moderate risk zones.

So should I get insured? If you live in a high risk zone, your mortgage lender might force you to. Otherwise, it’s your choice.

We are all trying to save money, but flood insurance could be valuable enough to make it worth the extra cost.

Oh great. How do I know? Go to floodsmart.gov. You can type in your address and see your property’s risk according to your community’s flood map.

Of course, finding out you’re in a low to moderate risk zone doesn’t get you off the hook. The rule of thumb is that if you can afford flood insurance, get it.

What does it cover? There are multiple levels of coverage: your home’s contents, the structure itself, or both. Each level is increasingly more expensive.

I’m making an appointment with an agent. How much coverage do I need? Your agent will recommend getting coverage for the replacement cost— the value of rebuilding the home and its contents.

Even if you’re a renter, you can still insure your home’s contents. This is an excellent idea.

A major flood can cause catastrophic damage, and even a minor one will set you back thousands of dollars. Don’t claim that “it can’t happen here,” because it could.

Alexander Carl

Alexander Carl

I find it difficult to brag about myself. Too modest? Perhaps.

Anyway: my name is Alexander Carl. I am a recent graduate of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I spent four blissful years earning a degree in Communication Studies. Now I face the real world of economic downturns, student loans, and the absence of “academic” camaraderie.

Yet I refuse to be bummed. My economic philosophy is to live simply, save, and maximize whatever I can. Consumer culture is undeniably pervasive, but you don’t have to sell your soul to co-exist with it— there is great power from using your economic resources wisely.

I started writing when I figured out how to hold a pencil. Since then I’ve written short stories, poetry, screenplays, and have blogged. In fact, three of my screenplays have been produced into short films, two of which I directed. I’m no stranger to the media, having served as a DJ at a freeform radio station and worked as a crew member for live TV.

Pastimes include traveling (I’ll visit virtually anywhere), swimming, jogging, hiking, and hunkering down with a good movie.

Overall I’m a peaceful person, though not in a creepy New Agey way. I get my energy from music, good conversation, and the outdoors (I was an active Boy Scout, earning my Eagle). I consider myself “inquisitive” and “wry”, and for the sake of autobiography I’ll assume that I am.
Alexander Carl

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