We had some exciting news from one of our most innovative insurance carriers this week. Starting this spring, a Flood Endorsement will be available for all home insurance policies with XYZ Insurance (not the carrier’s real name because this product is still confidential).
What does this mean? Well, instead of purchasing a separate flood policy through the NFIP, homeowners will be able to add flood coverage to their home insurance.
Remember the old days when you had to purchase separate home insurance and wind insurance policies? Nowadays, most carriers combine these coverages in the same policy, even in coastal areas. Continuing this trend towards value and simplicity, the same thing is going to happen with flood!
XYZ Insurance is set to be the first company to “go live” with this endorsement, but it seems likely that other companies will follow suit because it makes so much sense for consumers.
XYZ Insurance’s new Flood Endorsement will offer:
Choice of flood coverage levels up to the limits of the home insurance policy (in other words, not limited to $250,000).
Full Replacement Cost coverage, including for your personal property.
Loss of Use coverage (for hotel stays and living expenses while your home is flooded).
Claims handled by XYZ Insurance adjusters (not FEMA).
Premiums likely to be lower than NFIP policies (in Preferred zones, probably around $150-$300 per year depending on coverage level).
So, when will this coverage be available to you? Watch this space for updates, or contact your agent at Memorial Insurance for more information!
Ever heard the following words?: “My house has never flooded, not even during Hurricane Harvey, so I don’t need to purchase flood insurance”. In the following interview, featured in Texas Monthly, local expert Professor Samuel Brody explains exactly why this is the wrong kind of thinking. A must-read as we approach peak hurricane season!: Why Hurricane Harvey WILL Happen Again.
As of July 2016, just 15% of homeowners in Houston carried flood insurance. This number has increased since Hurricane Harvey, but far too many homeowners in this bayou city are still without flood protection. Here is why you should purchase flood coverage:
Flood insurance is not included in your home insurance policy: Some people don’t even realize they are without coverage until the worst happens. Your home insurance carrier will deny all claims relating to rising waters entering the home.
Flood insurance is not expensive: With rates starting at just $349 a year for $100,000 in building coverage and $40,000 in contents coverage, flood insurance is the best value insurance that money can buy.
Disaster assistance is not enough to rebuild or elevate your home: Even a few inches of flood water can cause devastating and costly damage, and a handout from the government will likely cover just a small fraction of your expenses.
Flooding is unpredictable: Many homes that flooded during the Memorial Day floods in Houston in 2016 were unaffected by Harvey …. and vice versa. Urban development, weather patterns, and other factors mean that literally anywhere in Houston is at risk of flooding.
You’re grandfathered in: Flood maps in Houston are expected to change as more severe weather events become the norm. Buy a preferred zone flood policy now and keep it active, and you’ll keep the same low rate even if your neighborhood gets rezoned and premiums double.
Flood season is coming: June through October is when the most severe weather events occur in Houston. There is a 30-day waiting period after you purchase flood coverage before the policy takes effect, so get your protection in place before the rain arrives!