My house is located in a “Preferred Flood” zone or “X” zone. According to FEMA, I have a low to moderate risk of flooding in any given year.
Because I’m in an “X” zone, my mortgage company, NOLA Lending, does not require me own flood insurance. But I still do, and so should you if you live in New Orleans or Jefferson parish.
New Flood Zones
In 2016, the National Flood Insurance Program and FEMA re-mapped New Orleans. Re-mapped means they adjusted the flood insurance zones based on updated information and flood mitigating improvements (pumps, levees, etc).
This year, 2018, Jefferson Parish completed the re-mapping process.
You may have been in a higher risk zone (“AE”, or standard zone) and now find yourself in a “X” zone. That’s great news! You will save A LOT of money on your premium. But don’t be fooled by being in a “preferred” flood zone…you still live in southeast Louisiana. Flooding is our reality.
If your mortgage company tells you no longer need to carry flood insurance, buy it anyway.
Flood Insurance Facts
Everyone lives in a flood zone
If you are in an “X” zone, or “preferred” zone, your risk of flooding, according to FEMA, is lower than that of a “standard” zone, but you are in a flood zone none-the-less. Even if you don’t live near the river like me, you’re at risk.
Flood damage is not covered by your Homeowners Insurance
Flood insurance is stand alone policy that can cover the structure of your house and your contents. Flood damage is excluded from Homeowners insurance policies.
Flood insurance is easy to get
Unlike homeowners insurance where underwriting can get complicated (condition of the house, credit, claims, etc), anyone can qualify for flood insurance. You may be required to get an elevation certificate that is used in determining your price. Even if you rent, you can buy a policy for your contents.
Flood insurance may be more affordable than you think
If you are in a preferred zone, typically the most you will pay for a policy is $450 per year. If you are in a standard zone, the premium will be based on a few factors including the base flood elevation (BFE) for your area and the elevation of the lowest floor (LFE) in your house. That information is found on an elevation certificate (EC).
Review your policy
If you do not own flood insurance, there is no better time than now to buy it. If you think you may be paying to much for your flood insurance, let one of our agents review your policy. While it’s true flood insurance rates are all set by FEMA and in theory the premiums should be the same across agencies, your cost is contingent upon your agent entering the information correctly. Giovani, one of our co-owners and agents, just saved a new homeowner over $1500 per year by simply rating the policy correctly!
Buying flood insurance takes 30 days
There is a 30-day waiting period for buying flood insurance. So you can’t wait until there is a tropical storm in the Gulf of Mexico to decide to purchase flood insurance. There is an exception where the 30-day wait is waived if you are closing on a house and flood insurance is required.