Hey Caiti: Will it happen to you?

Actually, it might, at any time.

Most of us have read about, or watched the recent news reports about the flooding in Louisiana. John Bacon, writing for USA Today calls it, “Historic flooding….”. But, do we really believe it will happen to us in our lovely little town? We don’t have the ocean at our back door, no levies to fail and no river to rage at us if the sky begins to drain.

However, you might want to take note of the recent flash flood warnings around Ohio and take them very seriously. You might be surprised at how little water it actually takes to do damage to property, and to be considered flood damage.

You also might be surprised to know flood damage is not normally covered by your homeowner’s insurance. You must obtain a separate policy with a separate cost of premiums. And if you say you don’t need flood insurance because your house has never been in a flood zone, you might want to re-check those facts.

In 2014, President Obama signed legislation which created the “Grimm-Waters Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act.” Don’t let the name fool you. This Act in no way makes insurance more affordable. In fact, it does just the opposite.

One of the changes made by this law requires the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to review, re-evaluate, and re-designate flood zones according to new rules. A home that once was not considered to be at risk for flood may now be considered to be in a flood zone. And not only may it now be in a flood zone, it may be sitting in a high risk area of a newly designated flood zone.

Another change requires that premiums on flood insurance be raised annually until a designated cost ceiling is reached. That cost ceiling is dependent on where your home is on the flood zone, the elevation of your home on the flood zone, and what risk level the flood zone is in.

For more information on FEMA search FEMA.com. For more information on flood zones and increased insurance costs search www.insurancejournal.com and eden.lsu.edu/topics/hazards/floods.com.


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