Spring 2013 - The Federal Emergency Management Agency (or FEMA) released a new flood map for coastal New Jersey just last December after the devastating effects of Hurricane Sandy. A flood map basically denotes what areas of the map are prone to flooding by zones.
Homeowners who find themselves located in one of the flood zones are required to elevate their properties unless they want to deal with soaring flood insurance rates. In part due to the recent flooding caused by the hurricane, FEMA’s new flood map was particularly tough, having placed even more properties into flood zones than the previous flood map. According to New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, there’s a good chance that FEMA will scale back the flood maps.
Flood insurance is practically a necessity for homeowners living in areas prone to flooding. If your coastal New Jersey home falls within the flood zone of FEMA’s flood map, then you should strongly consider purchasing flood insurance. Flood insurance is NOT part of your homeowner's or business owner's policy. Normal home owners insurance won’t cover any damage done to your property or your possessions in a flood. Flood insurance is a good idea even if you don't live near a large body of water. Flooding can be caused by leaks in the roof and damage done during rain storms as well.
The issue, of course, is that unless you raise your home – which can be quite expensive – your flood insurance premiums will be incredibly expensive. If your home truly is prone to flooding, then elevating it is a good idea as it will offer more protection. However, Governor Christie believes that the current flood maps are too aggressive. The flood zones currently covers more space on the map than is necessary, as many of the homes that fall within the flood zones will most likely be safe from flooding. The zones were most likely expanded as a result of Hurricane Sandy.
The governor will continue to support scaling back the flood maps to make flood insurance more affordable without the need to invest in the elevation of their homes. For more information about flood insurance, contact us at CCW Insurance.