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Would you buy flood insurance for a home in a low risk area?
Old 09-10-2022, 06:43 AM   #1
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Would you buy flood insurance for a home in a low risk area?

The FEMA flood insurance program has a large deficit mostly due to underpricing insurance for some high risk areas. They are raising those rates so I was thinking that insurance for low risk areas might become more affordable.

The local independent agent wouldn't give me a quote for flood insurance only so I contacted Farmers/Foremost from the list. https://www.floodsmart.gov/flood-insurance-provider

My "total premium" with surcharges and fees was $625 for 250k building coverage and 100k contents for zone X minimal risk. Raising the deductible to 10k, the maximum, saves only $30. The 250/100 limits are the maximum and wouldn't cover my cost to rebuild.

This seems like a lot to pay for partial coverage in a "minimal risk" zone. Am I making a mistake?
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Old 09-10-2022, 06:54 AM   #2
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Our home is also rated low risk, but the entire area us rated higher risk, and if adjacent areas flood I see little chance we wonít, so I pay that amount.
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Old 09-10-2022, 06:55 AM   #3
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When I lived in Houston (owned several houses there over the years) I always kept flood insurance since (IMO) any house in Houston is high risks for flooding. I had water up to the door step once and into the yard several times but never flooded the house. Even had the house next door flood once but not us.. Go figure.. Original cost was $25yr back in the early 80's, but when I moved out of the area 10+ years ago it was several hundred a year.

I now live ~150 miles north of Houston and don't have flood insurance....Sort of hilly around here and we are in a higher area of the county.

So checked I out the flood plan maps in my area, talked to my real estate agent, then assessed my personal risks and rolled the dice.

So it depends...
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Old 09-10-2022, 07:08 AM   #4
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I think you need to look at the topography around your house to determine if flood insurance is a good deal for you. In many instances, the risk if very localized.
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Old 09-10-2022, 07:22 AM   #5
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I agree that you need to look at flood maps and see specific data for your house location. Then evaluate is your house built raised above surrounding land? Is your lot on a hill or valley compared to the general area? Where would water come from if flooding was in the area? Ultimately it is a risk decision.
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Old 09-10-2022, 08:00 AM   #6
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I think you need to look at the topography around your house to determine if flood insurance is a good deal for you. In many instances, the risk if very localized.
This. Our back yard is the Mississippi river but we're on a bank about 15 feet above the highest water we have seen. No thought to buy insurance.
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Old 09-10-2022, 08:07 AM   #7
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We keep it for our PA home and our Jersey Shore home (2 blocks from the beach). Our PA home probably will never flood based on the contours of the land, but Iíve seen what looks like a river during heavy storms streaming across the rear of our yard. We also have clay soil, so a series of rain storms turns our yard into a swamp. Every year I debate whether I should renew or not. We have the money, so I do.
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Old 09-10-2022, 08:31 AM   #8
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This. Our back yard is the Mississippi river but we're on a bank about 15 feet above the highest water we have seen. No thought to buy insurance.
Your post made me think of this old Johnny Cash song for some reason....


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Old 09-10-2022, 10:28 AM   #9
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You need to evaluate your area and see how far above the expected flood plain your house sits. We lived in a house that was in a subdivision built in the 70s. The neighbors said it never flooded in the area and even in the big flood in the 80s in the area it only flooded the streets. We were in the low risk area until about 6or7 years ago and the flood maps were redone. We ended up in a flood plain and our insurance was grandfathered in for 2 years. After that they started raising the rates I think it was 15% per year. The only way to stop the rate increases would be to have a elevation survey. We didn’t as we retired sold the house and moved. The basis for flooding in our area was a levee failure. So, you need to really look at all the particulars. You can go on line and download the flood maps and look at your area. Also, there is no guarantee that low risk areas will go down in premium price.
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Old 09-10-2022, 10:37 AM   #10
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I do. Same as yours.

BUT the water levels have flooded people before.

Neighbor didn't and is now rebuilding half his house.

He used to say it would take 20 years with no flood to cover it. Well, 600/yr he wouldn't be in this boat.

Now he's hoping a tree falls on it to just start fresh.
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Old 09-10-2022, 10:46 AM   #11
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Like the OP, my home is in FEMA flood insurance zone X, which is low risk for this area. I will always buy flood insurance. I feel that it's a bargain compare with wind/hail/hurricane insurance, which costs several times as much, is run by your insurance company or your state instead of FEMA, and gained a reputation around here for not paying off very reliably after Katrina. The stories my friends and co-workers told me related to wind'n'hail claims after Katrina, are heartbreaking. But on the other hand, flood insurance claims seemed to be less of a hassle. But that's just my opinion.

I would buy flood insurance even if I wasn't living in New Orleans.
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Old 09-10-2022, 10:50 AM   #12
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The climate is changing rapidly and historical flood plain maps probably are not accurate. I would not risk it for $12 a week.
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Old 09-10-2022, 11:24 AM   #13
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I bought it for a couple of years when we first moved into this house until I began to understand what the risks were. We are in a low risk area but I have lived in areas that were supposed outside 100 year flood boundaries and got hit twice in 3 years so I am wary.

Does anyone know whether some sort of flood declaration has to be made to get a payout from the policy? Seems like I read something like that in the fine print but it's been awhile. That would be a problem if some weird event happened to your house or just a few houses and not a big area that got declared.
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Old 09-10-2022, 04:20 PM   #14
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My flood insurance went up this year by $200 from last year. Now it is $689. Since I am a little over 100yds from the ocean I think I will keep it and be glad I have it. My Wind insurance just went under but was higher too. Way more than flood ins. I don't think I will buy it anymore and hope there are minimal strength hurricanes. My house is concrete block with a standing seam metal roof and hurricane panels for the windows so I should be able to get by without wind insurance.

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Old 09-10-2022, 04:31 PM   #15
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When I lived in Houston (owned several houses there over the years) I always kept flood insurance since (IMO) any house in Houston is high risks for flooding. I had water up to the door step once and into the yard several times but never flooded the house. Even had the house next door flood once but not us.. Go figure.. Original cost was $25yr back in the early 80's, but when I moved out of the area 10+ years ago it was several hundred a year.

I now live ~150 miles north of Houston and don't have flood insurance....Sort of hilly around here and we are in a higher area of the county.

So checked I out the flood plan maps in my area, talked to my real estate agent, then assessed my personal risks and rolled the dice.

So it depends...
Harvey readjusted all the flood plain maps here in Houston in 2017!

But where we are, we did not even come close to flooding back then. No flood insurance for us!
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Old 09-10-2022, 05:25 PM   #16
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Harvey readjusted all the flood plain maps here in Houston in 2017!

But where we are, we did not even come close to flooding back then. No flood insurance for us!



Same with me... I can see that I am 4 to 5 feet higher than where the bayou is and there is a lot of land to fill up before getting to me... and during Harvey it did not come out of the banks around me...
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Old 09-10-2022, 05:36 PM   #17
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We are in a very low risk area and the water drains away quite well from the house, so no
flood insurance for us.
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Old 09-10-2022, 05:39 PM   #18
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Harvey readjusted all the flood plain maps here in Houston in 2017!

But where we are, we did not even come close to flooding back then. No flood insurance for us!
So I guess Lake Woodlands or the West Fork of the San Jac river has never been a problem for you guys?
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Old 09-10-2022, 05:48 PM   #19
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This was the rainfall of Harvey.... if you were not close to being flooded with this you are pretty safe...




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Old 09-10-2022, 05:54 PM   #20
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^^^^^
Just curious, do you now or have you ever lived in the greater Houston area for more than 10 years?

In the 50 + years I lived there I think I've seen just about every area of town have flooding problems at one time or another... Sometimes one side of town is a disaster area and the other side has had minimal rain or at least no flooding of any kind. I will admit that the south and east sides seem to get hit more often but I've seen every area from Sugerland to Katy to Cypress to Spring to Kingwood to Channelview, to Clear Lake to Friendwoods, to Pearland, etc, and all points in-between get hit at one time or another. Of course places like the Heights area (Center Ciry) has been hit hard a lot.
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