Rising Waters Require Flood Insurance

The state of Texas leads the nation in flood related deaths and property damage, and Texas holds 6 of the top 12 world records for rainfall in 48 hours or less.  Although all of Texas is prone to extremely heavy rains and flooding, Austin and central Texas is known as “Flash Flood Alley.”  The geography of the area makes it uniquely positioned to receive the brunt of tropical storms and air masses that result in intense rainfall.   In 1921, a storm in central Texas produced 32 inches of rain in 12 hours.  In 1935, 22 inches of rain fell in just 2 hours. The well known picture of a house going over the Austin Dam in 1935 is real, not photoshopped.

Even though floods are the most common natural disaster in Texas and the United States, it is estimated that only 18% of Americans have flood insurance.  In 2012, 25% of flood claims were filed by property owners in low or moderate risk flood areas, who did not live in a flood zone.  Of the first 6 clients who called my insurance agency last week regarding flooding at their homes after heavy rains in Austin the week of Halloween, only 2 of the 6 had flood insurance.  Many property owners discover too late that their homeowner and renter’s policies did not cover losses from flooding.

Many homeowners and renters do not realize that if you do not live in a flood zone, flood insurance is relatively inexpensive.  It’s important to keep in mind that most homeowners do not necessarily need the same level of flood coverage as dwelling coverage on their homeowner policy. This is because a flood usually does not result in the loss of the entire building structure and all the contents, unlike a fire or tornado. Of course, there are exceptions such as the catastrophic flooding from Hurricane Sandy and Katrina.

Flood insurance is the best way to protect your home, your business, your family, and your financial security from unforeseen flooding.

Sample rates for flood insurance in Texas as of November 2013

(assuming your home is not in a flood zone)

$50,000 in building coverage/$20,000 in contents coverage, the annual premium is $240.
$100,000 in building coverage/$40,000 in contents coverage, the annual premium is $310.
$150,000 in building coverage/$60,000 in contents coverage, the annual premium is $354
$250,000 in building coverage/$100,000 in contents coverage, the annual premium is $412.

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