How do you know if you need flood insurance

Whether you need flood insurance is often determined by where your house is located. Some houses are in high-risk areas, and some are in low-risk areas. If you are on top of a mountain, you may not need flood insurance, but if you are in a lower area, you may need insurance.

It is also a good idea to check on nearby creeks and rivers, and see what their historic flood stages have been. Even if there have not been any floods in the last 50 years or so, if you are near a stream of any size, there is always a risk of flooding.

There is a federal law that says if you are in a high-risk area you must have flood insurance.  The law says if there is a 25 percent chance of flooding in your area over a 30-year period, you must have flood insurance. People in moderate to low risk areas, meaning less than the one in four chance over 30 years, you are not required to have flood insurance, but you may still get a policy if you choose to.

According to FEMA, about 20 percent of flood claims from people who do not live in a high-risk area, so that should be taken into consideration.  A lender may require insurance on a mortgage whether you are in a risk area or not.

You may get flood insurance on your home itself, and on the contents, but those are separate policies. Keep in mind that flood insurance is not the same thing as home insurance. Most companies also have a 30-day waiting period to buy insurance.

Visit Ramsey Insurance Agency’s website for information about how to get flood insurance in the Annapolis, MD area, or let us update your policy if you are an existing customer.