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I was advised this week that my house is now in a “Flood Zone A” and my mortgage company is requiring flood insurance. I contacted my home/car insurance company and asked for a quote.

My house is 1 1/2 stories and the payoff is around $ 130,000. They gave me a quote of $ 2,521 a year, which would cause my house note to increase $ 210 a MONTH. This is with the highest deductible, $ 5,000.00, they offer. This is in addition to the $ 600 I pay annually for homeowners.

Right now they are running a quote for me without the content ins. I want to compare the annual premiums.

$ 210.00 extra a month and for 29 more years is alot to a single person. Please let me know if you carry the flood contents insurance and your thoughts.

If anything, at least I can have the house rebuilt, but with no contents I will have to sleep on the floor naked (LOL).

Also, is it true that if you dont live in a flood zone and have flood insurance your rates can’t increase if your ever placed in a flood zone?

3 Thoughts on If you have a flood insurance policy, do you carry flood contents insurance?
  1. Reply
    June 9, 2011 at 11:21 pm

    OK, first the bad news – you can’t pay flood insurance on a monthly basis. You must prepay it, in full, for the full year. Second, the contents coverage doesn’t cover any contents you store below ground level – like in a basement. So keep that in mind.

    HOw much the contents cost is going to depend on how much coverage you want. So you’ll have to ask the same agent for a quote for the contents.

    It doesn’t do you any good to “shop around” for flood insurance. ALL plans are written through the National Flood Insurance Program, so the rates are set by the feds. No competition at all.

    Regarding your question. My house IS in a flood zone, here in Houston. I don’t have a mortgage, and don’t carry flood on the building OR contents – but we dropped $ 5,000 into a good french drain system for the house.

    It’s not true that your rates can’t increase. Rates change EVERY YEAR. Properties can be rezoned EVERY YEAR. I have no idea who told you that, but they’re dead wrong.

  2. Reply
    June 9, 2011 at 11:40 pm

    If I were you I would get a quote without contents coverage. Most times you know a flood is coming (unless it is a flash flood but you should have some clue there too) & you can empty the important things out of the house & leave. There is very limited basement contents coverage (washer dryer, deep freezer & that is about it other than the house systems). Even if you purchase some contents coverage, you will need to empty out the basement of contents, if you have any down there, if you know a flood is coming if you want coverage for the contents.
    Yes, if you didn’t live in a special hazard flood zone & your property was rezoned into the special hazard flood zone & you ALREADY had a policy in place on the standard rate policy (NOT on the preferred rate policy which is available to only to zones B, C & X) BEFORE the rezoning, you are grandfathered into the same rate & you can be rated in the same zone (you could continue in zones B, C or X instead of one of the A or V zones). I just had this happen to one of my insureds. They had a flood policy in zone X in the standard rate. I wanted to rerate to the preferred rate to get a better premium for them & when I rerated I found out they were recently rezoned to zone A. I called the National Flood Insurance Plan & they told me about the grandfathering & they said I could leave the current policy AS IS with the same coverage, zone & premiums. If they ever cancelled the policy, they would have to be rewritten to the new zone with the higher rates.
    Did your agent tell you about an elevation certificate? This may be very helpful to you. If the lowest part of your home (basement floor if you have a basement) is above the flood plain, you may be able to get a much cheaper rate. It may be worth it for you to contact an engineer, it could cost several hundred dollars to have this done but if you are even with or above the flood plain, it could save you many hundred dollars per year. Your agent should be able to quote the difference. I bet it could make up the cost in one year or less.
    Also, another thing you should know – if you sit way above any body of water, like up on a hill or knoll, depending how high you are, you may be able to get a “letter of map amendment” from an engineer. This would essentially take you out of the special hazard flood zone & end your need for flood insurance by the bank. You would submit the letter to FEMA & the bank.

  3. Reply
    Aaron M
    June 9, 2011 at 11:50 pm

    I’ve adjusted a lot of flood claims and many don’t have contents coverage. It definitely stings if you have a loss and find out that there is no coverage for your damaged contents. But many get by without it. You should get a quote for some contents coverage and see if it varies that much by adding this coverage.

    Contents are only covered above the “base flood elevation” (This is usually the first floor in an elevated building) and inside an enclosed structure on the property. No coverage for contents in basement, contents in the yard, contents on a deck, etc… Contents are only covered inside your home or shed above the “base flood elevation”. Also you should know that contents coverage is offered at “Actual Cash Value”. In other words they are depreciated according to there age. A good rule of thumb is they’ll will pay for your chair at the value of selling it in a garage sale. This may sway your decision.

    Rates can change regardless of your home being put in a flood zone after already having a policy. The rates change like any other insurance policy does.

    Flood insurance is expensive and there is no way around it, unless you own your home out right and a mortgage company isn’t involved. The NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) is put together by congress and is the only supplier for flood insurance. No matter what insurance agent you go to the quote will be the same.

    Sorry I couldn’t give you better news, but I hope this helps.

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