The Umbrella of Flood Insurance
The Woodlands, TX, April 21, 2016 – Is there a flood in your future? Anywhere it rains, it can flood, says Gordy Bunch, president and CEO of TWFG Insurance Services. “Just because you have not experienced flooding during this current deluge does not mean you will not be affected in the future,” Bunch says. “Thousands of home and business owners are now learning that lesson in a 3,000 square mile flood zone in southeast Texas,” he points out. As recipient of a national FEMA award for its handling of flood insurance, TWFG’s Bunch is offering advice and information on how to protect property through “the umbrella of flood insurance.”
Bunch says the 10 to 20-inch floods currently inundating communities throughout southeast Texas are affecting neighborhoods, both as repeat and first-time flooding events, catching thousands of home and business owners without flood insurance. The risk factors of flood insurance are based on a number of factors: rainfall, river-flow and tidal-surge data, topography, flood-control measures, and changes due to building and development – all of which are involved in the current disaster.
Since standard homeowners insurance does not cover flooding, it is important for all home and business owners, as well as renters, to have protection from floods with flood insurance, Bunch recommend. “Just a few inches of water from a flood can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage.” From 2010 to 2014, the average residential flood claim amounted to more than $39,000. In 2014, the average flood insurance policy premium was about $700 per year.
Bunch explains that in 1968 Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program, administered by FEMA, to help provide a means for property owners to protect their assets. Flood insurance is the best way to protect property from devastating financial loss according to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Flood insurance fills the void not covered by most homeowners and business policies. If your insurer participates in the NFIP program, you can file claims even if a storm situation does not trigger a state or federal disaster declaration. If your home is already listed in a flood plain, your mortgage company has already insisted that you buy flood insurance.
Flood-hazard maps have been created to show different degrees of risk for communities, which help determine the cost of flood insurance. Risks are labeled as High-Risk, Moderate, and Low-Risk areas. In high-risk areas, there is at least a one in four chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage. However, more than 20 percent of flood insurance claims come from people outside of mapped high-risk flood areas. The lower the degree of risk, the lower the flood insurance premium.
The 2016 floods have not yet ended, but it is likely the deluge will exceed even the 163 billion gallons of rain dumped on the Houston area in 2015. For the fortunate few who signed up for policies after that torrent that were tied to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), rebuilding will be less painful and less costly,
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) says flood insurance is an essential ingredient for protecting your family. Too many victims of this year’s flooding felt a false sense of safety because they thought their homes were situated above floodwaters, Bunch says.
The NFIP has 5.3 million policyholders in homes and businesses across the country with $1.3 trillion of insurance coverage in force. Bunch cautions even those with existing flood insurance policies to check with their insurance agent to be sure their policies are current and in compliance with changes made in 2015 by FEMA. Those changes incorporated new flood maps and identified Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA). Overviews of the National Flood Insurance Program are available at FloodSmart.gov. Agencies like TWFG with more than 300 local offices, have defined flood maps showing risk zones for their local areas. Branch offices are listed at twfg.com.
For Media Information:
Gordy Bunch 713-416-0789< Back to Press Releases Page