Are you considering buying a new home or business in a flood zone? You probably have some important questions. To make an informed decision, you need to explore issues such as safety, insurance concerns, and evaluation of flood zones. The best decisions are always informed ones, after all.
How Dangerous Is It to Live in a Flood Zone
The potential risks tied to flood zones vary depending on the body of water you live near. For example, a flooded lake is dangerous, but it doesn’t have the force of a moving river. Likewise, high waters are dangerous, but currents make them much more hazardous. So, the flood zone you live in determines the amount of risk you face. Floodplains that line rivers are more dangerous than those with a greater distance from the flood’s source.
Another major concern is elevation. How high does the water rise naturally? Is your home at a lower elevation? If there are levies in the area, that’s a sign you are at a dangerously low elevation. When water breaches a levy, it fills lower flood zones like a bowl. It’s difficult to remove the water, and it rises very quickly. The damage Hurricane Katrina left in New Orleans is a perfect example.
Can I Get Insurance If I Live in a Flood Zone
You can, but expect to pay higher premiums. Also, you will probably have to buy specialized flood insurance. There are a few aspects that make flood insurance so expensive. First, it’s directly affected by how often waters rise in floodplains. Next, the inevitable damage created also plays a role in its cost. Keep in mind that insurers gamble on the safety of your home. When your home is almost guaranteed to sustain damage sooner or later, insurers are no longer gambling on if your home will be damaged, but how severely your home will be damaged. It is what makes flood insurance so incredibly expensive for anyone who is actually at risk of flooding. Technically, anyone could purchase this insurance, but if you live at the top of a hill well away from water, then you’d be wasting money. The greater the need, the higher insurers will charge for coverage.
How Do I Know If Live in a Flood Zone
If you buy a home or business in a known flood zone, the sellers are obligated to tell you. It’s a good idea, however, to look around the area for nearby water hazards. Even small creeks can become a serious problem after a big thaw or a lingering downpour. Also, keep in mind that water changes the landscape. Your property may be in an area, that when first assessed, was frequently flooded. However, the course of the river may have moved away, taking the risk of flooding with it. The only way to know for sure is to hire floodplain evaluation experts.