Comment of the Day: You Should Get Flood Insurance Even If You Live Outside Any Designated Floodplain

COMMENT OF THE DAY: YOU SHOULD GET FLOOD INSURANCE EVEN IF YOU LIVE OUTSIDE ANY DESIGNATED FLOODPLAIN “Consider the following: 1.) Houston as a whole is a low-lying area. 2.) FEMA Flood Maps are outdated; this is not a new revelation following Harvey. 3.) Flood insurance for Zone X is cheap (I pay $425/year for $200k building/$80k contents coverage) 4.) Your house is outside of both the 1% and 0.2% flood plains (i.e. Zone X). Given those four conditions alone, buying flood insurance should be a no brainer for anyone that owns property in Houston, particularly if you’re even *near* a 100- or 500-year line. And after this event, which has made it quite clear that the models that determine what a 0.2% and 1% event is are inadequate, not getting flood insurance wherever you are in this town makes no sense at all. Heck, it doesn’t even take a Harvey to flood your ‘never been flooded house’ – all it takes is a blocked storm drain, a collapsed drainage ditch, poor lot grading, or any number of other non-“biblical” localized catastrophic events. Hopefully more people will realize this now, but it’s very sad that so many didn’t until 40-50 in. of rain fell over the entire county in less than 48 hours. [meh, commenting on Suing the Army Corps for Reservoir Releases; A City App for Debris Removal; 30 Years of the GRB] Illustration: Lulu

11 Comment

  • Says hindsight 20/20 guy. Lotta good that does anyone now.

  • I supposedly don’t live in a flood plain but ever since I bought my house I don’t take chances and have purchased flood insurance!

  • Although it doesn’t help people who flooded during this event and did not have flood insurance; I think a lot of people will be taking this mindset and purchasing flood insurance even though they did not flood during Harvey.

    As terrible as these events are, there are lessons to be learned. There will be people that are better prepared to handle a situation like this because they witnessed the devastation that their friends and neighbors suffered through, and took steps to mitigate it should it ever occur to them in the future.

  • That’s the funny part. So many people are clamoring for updated flood risk zones and demanding why they weren’t shown in the high risk zone. I think you would be better off quietly recognizing your risk and buying your cheap low-risk flood insurance. Or you can keep talking and the NFIP will be more than happy to rope you into a high risk zone and then charge you 7x more!

  • Uh, okay…so I think we need to do a much better job at dispelling a common myth, here.
    Land which is located within the 100-year floodplain has a 1% chance *OR GREATER* of inundation (whether one inch or ten feet, doesn’t matter) in any given year. What is identified as being within the 100-year floodplain might also be within the hypothetical 50-year floodplain or even the 20-year floodplain, even if that data is neither calculated or depicted.
    Land is not a structure, however. Insurance premiums closely correlate to the difference in elevation between the first-floor living area and the base flood elevation (a.k.a BFE). Flood risk increases geometrically as this figure decreases from zero; but the converse case is also true that above a certain threshold, there really aren’t any gains to be realized by elevating the structure by an additional foot.
    Furthermore, one’s premium is closely related to their deductible and sometimes to one’s credit. An analysis is incomplete without that information. One also must consider that insurance companies sometimes are tight with their payouts precisely at the moment when it matters most to a consumer; this can impose a not-insubstantial and perhaps unavoidable cost. (What, you thought that they *want* to make you whole? Yeah…be skeptical of that.)

  • Yeah, we had flood insurance. We have received NOTHING from the flood insurance to help with our flooded home. A coworker who did NOT have flood insurance has already received $10k from FEMA to help rebuild. Why bother paying flood insurance premiums when A) they fail to pay, and B) NOT having it results in a rapid offer of assistance from FEMA. Our next house, not bothering with the flood insurance.

  • Houston is the city of “you never know” – unless you live on 8′ piers, get that flood insurance!

  • Sapper, it will take at least 3 months to get your check but they will pay a bit up front at some point. Be very friendly to your adjuster and push for total payment estimates and time til payment. Your friend who got 10K isn’t likely to get anything else. Be aware of what FEMA will not pay for and plan according. Does it suck? Yep.

  • I bought flood insurance 2 years ago after Memorial Day flood. I live in Spring Branch, off of I-10 and Wirt and no, it doesn’t flood in my area, but it’s peace of mind.

  • I am curious as to what the correlation is between the people who purchased/ not purchased flood insurance and those who choose to get medical insurance/not get medical insurance?
    I also question those that live downstream of a dam – do you not realize you live below a dam and the risk involved in doing so?
    It makes you wonder if there is a higher body of knowledge that understands why the cost of living in Houston is cheaper than most other comparable cities due to the fact that Houston has the propensity to flood?

  • @Sapper ask your adjuster for an advance. They are authorized to do that and mortgage companies are very flexible about co-signing to give you the money to get started.

    It’s not an easy process but you will get what you need out of them.