On Thursday, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released its 2013 hurricane season outlook.  The 2013 Atlantic hurricane season, which runs from June 1 to November 30, is predicted to be “active” or “extremely active.”  The NOAA predicts a 70% likelihood of 13-20 named storms (winds of 39 mph or higher), of which 7 to 11 could become hurricanes (winds of 74 mph or higher), including 3 to 6 major hurricanes (Category 3, 4 or 5; winds of 111 mph or higher).  These predicted ranges are well above the seasonal average of 12 named storms, 6 hurricanes and 3 major hurricanes.

According to FEMA, floods are the #1 natural disaster in the United States every year. Living in Louisiana, this comes as no surprise. Many people believe that flood insurance is unavailable or too expensive to carry, but that is just one of many misconceptions.

Why should I buy flood insurance for my home?

The obvious reason is to protect your home and belongings in the event of a flood. Although FEMA may assist with losses, what most people don’t know is that Federal disaster assistance is usually a loan that must be paid back with interest. For a $50,000 loan at 4% interest, your monthly payment would be around $240 a month ($2,880 a year) for 30 years. Compare that to a $100,000 flood insurance premium, which is about $400 a year ($33 a month).

Doesn’t my homeowner’s insurance policy include protections against flooding?

No, your homeowner’s policy does not protect against floods. This is a common misunderstanding and most homeowner’s do not discover this issue until it is too late.

Can I get flood insurance if I am renting a home?

Yes, if you live in a community that participates in the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program).

How much does flood insurance cost?

If you live in a moderate-to-low risk area, your flood insurance premium may be as low as $129 a year, including coverage for your property’s contents. Policies up to $250,000 may be as inexpensive as $350/year. Monthly payments could be as low as $25.00 but can save you hundreds of thousands in the event of a flood.

What does flood insurance cover?

You can choose from two types of policies. One covers the home itself, and the other will cover both the home and its contents. Insuring the home plus the contents costs slightly more annually, but is a wise option if you are concerned about replacing your valuables, furniture, electronics, clothes, etc.

How do I buy a flood insurance policy?

Here are a few helpful websites:

http://www.louisianafloodinsurance.us/

http://www.lainsurance.net/flood-insurance

Hurricane season is just around the corner, so if you are interested in buying flood insurance, now is the time to get serious and start contacting insurance agents in your area.

May 24, 2013 | Categories: Legal Tips |