Everyone Lives in a Flood Zone!
It's true. Everyone does live in a flood zone—it's just a question of whether you live in a low, moderate, or high risk area.
One-third of all flood insurance claims are from areas with minimal flood risks. Given enough rainfall, anywhere can flood. Most homeowner's policies do not cover flooding, which is why purchasing flood insurance is so important.
Columbia County participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which in turn, allows all residents in the county to purchase flood insurance. You do not have to be listed on the FEMA flood maps in a "flood zone" to purchase flood insurance.
Measure Your Damage
All it takes is a few inches of water to cause major damage to your home and its contents. This link is an interactive tool that shows you what a flood to your home could cost, inch by inch.
Below are the facts on flooding and flood insurance.
- Floods and flash floods happen in all 50 states.
- Everyone lives in a flood zone. (For more information, visit our Flood Zones FAQs.)
- Most homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage.
- If you live in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) or high-risk area and have a Federally backed mortgage, your mortgage lender requires you to have flood insurance.
- Just an inch of water can cause costly damage to your property.
- Flash floods often bring walls of water 10 to 20 feet high.
- A car can easily be carried away by just two feet of floodwater.
- Hurricanes, winter storms and snowmelt are common (but often overlooked) causes of flooding.
- New land development can increase flood risk, especially if the construction changes natural runoff paths.
- Federal disaster assistance is usually a loan that must be paid back with interest. For a $50,000 loan at 4% interest, your monthly payment would be around $240 a month ($2,880 a year) for 30 years. Compare that to a $100,000 flood insurance premium, which is about $400 a year ($33 a month).
- If you live in a low-to-moderate risk area and are eligible for the Preferred Risk Policy, your flood insurance premium may be as low as $119 a year, including coverage for your property's contents.
- You are eligible to purchase flood insurance as long as your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program. Columbia County does participate!
- It takes 30 days after purchase for a policy to take effect, so it's important to buy insurance before the floodwaters start to rise.
- Your home has a 26% chance of being damaged by a flood during the course of a 30-year mortgage, compared to a 9% chance of fire.
- One-third of all claims paid by the NFIP were for policies in low-risk communities.
- When your community participates in the Community Rating System (CRS), you can qualify for an insurance premium discount of up to 45%. Read more about CRS Ratings.