South Carolina is no stranger to floods. In light of this, it might seem reasonable to think that state residents are well-versed in flood insurance and how it works.
Unfortunately, many people in flood-prone areas do not understand what their insurance covers and what it does not. Worse yet, some in South Carolina do not even believe they need flood insurance. As such, one of the most important tasks a future homeowner could undertake is to understand some of the biggest facts surrounding flood insurance.
Flood Insurance Is Not Always Included in Home Insurance
Far too many South Carolina homeowners mistakenly believe that flood insurance automatically comes with homeowner insurance. However, when their home floods and they then try to seek compensation, they learn too late that homeowners insurance, even in flood-prone zones, does not provide flood insurance.
It is for this reason that the federal government backs the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). However, this insurance must be purchased separately from a homeowner’s policy.
Many homeowners insurance agents are not familiar with the communities that participate in NFIP, or which ones are known floodplain hazards. Due to this, it is always best to check with the NFIP or an insurance agent who is familiar with the program.
Flood Insurance Does Not Require a Home in a Special Flood Hazard Area
Homeowners do not have to live in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) to purchase flood insurance. They do, however, have to live in a community that participates in the NFIP and enforces floodplain ordinances and building requirements.
These requirements must meet FEMA guidelines. For those that wish to purchase flood insurance but live in a community that does not participate in NFIP, they could make a request for it to their mayor, city council, or county commissioner’s office.
Flood Insurance Could Still Be Needed in Low-Risk Flood Zones
There are not many low-risk flood zones around South Carolina. If a homeowner thinks they live in one, though, they should still purchase flood insurance.
20 percent of all NFIP claims come from low-risk flood zones, and the claims receive one-third of federal disaster assistance after a flood. Anyone in any type of flood zone should make sure they have the insurance that protects them when necessary.
Homeowners Could Purchase Flood Insurance After a Flood
As long as a homeowner’s community participates in NFIP, they could purchase flood insurance at any time. However, there is typically a 30-day waiting period before that insurance coverage takes effect and provides the protection homeowners need.
For this reason, it is generally best not to wait until news of an impending flood. If homeowners live in a flood zone and that location is part of the NFIP, purchase flood insurance as soon as possible.
Contact a Legal Professional Today
The flood insurance claims process can quickly become complicated, particularly when claims holders are trying to put their lives back together after a flood. For this reason, homeowners who have significant losses after a flood should speak to a South Carolina flood insurance claim lawyer that could help. An attorney could speak to the adjuster for you and work to hold insurance companies accountable for paying you the coverage you are rightfully owed.