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Buying a Home: What About Flood Insurance?

Friday, March 7, 2014   /   by Fra Jamir

Buying a Home: What About Flood Insurance?

It can be perplexing—and not least because it’s one of the least-discussed details you run into when buying a home. The issue is flood insurance, and it’s sometimes first brought to the fore when you are buying a home in Charleston, SC that you would not have thought was on a “flood plain.” If it is, it’s going to require flood insurance before the bank will sign off on a loan.


 


As we only see from time to time, devastating floods can strike when and where least expected: sometimes, in areas where that ruinous flooding is unprecedented. In 2005, when FEMA paid out over $17 billion in flood claims, it once again became clear why flood insurance is absolutely necessary. Here’s what you need to know about flood insurance if the home you are looking at is in a flood plain.


The Zone Matters


FEMA assigns different zones within a single flood plain. For example, homes that are located on the bank of a creek may be assigned to Zone A, ( floods highly likely). Homes that are further away from a water source may be assigned to Zone Z, (lower risk). Naturally, Zone Z premiums are a good deal more affordable than premiums for Zone A. In fact, if your home is in a Z zone, you may even qualify for a special price break for two years before full premium goes into effect.


Figuring Out the Cost


Unlike car or home insurance, you won’t find a better rate on flood insurance by shopping around. The federal government sets flood premium rates based on factors like the zone, the home’s value, and the value of its contents. You may choose to insure the home only, but it’s seldom a good idea to leave contents without coverage. Any Charleston insurance agent specializing in flood insurance will be able to assist you in determining the cost of the policy; they will also answer any questions you may have about the process.


Making Your Decision


Buying a Charleston home that turns out to be on considered within a flood plain means factoring in some added insurance expense, and possibly even potential risk to your personal items. But when the house is right, and your heart is absolutely set on the property, it’s a dollars-and-cents calculation. I’m always at the ready to help my clients clarify this and all other the other details that go into buying a home in Charleston, SC 


 


Interested in selling your Charleston area home? Visit: www.jeffcookrealestate.com


Interested in buying a Charleston area home? Visit: www.discovercharlestonareahomes.com


 


-Jeff Cook


Jeff Cook Real Estate


Charleston, SC


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