This is not how I like to get reminded of things, but sometimes that’s just how it goes. I hope all those out there affected by the floods are at least safe. A few months ago I wrote about buying flood insurance even if you are not required to by your mortgage lender. This means you are outside the 100-year floodplain, but could still be in the 500 year floodplain (1 in 500 chance each year, or 0.2%). Check if you are in a flood plain here. We got quotes, but never actually got around to buying a policy due to a combination of cost concerns and simply forgetting about it.
1 in 500? Why bother? Well, reports say that one third of Iowa is currently underwater. From one local newspaper:
“We’ve been taking a lot of calls, but most people don’t have flood insurance,” said State Farm Insurance Agent Doug Valentine. “This flood has blown through the 500-year flood plain and most only have to have insurance if they are in the 100-year flood plain because the banks require it.”
Valentine said many homeowners will soon face a difficult decision on what they will do given many will still have mortgage payments to be made and no insurance to cover rebuilding. “They may have to plow it down and will have $200,000 in payments on a $100,000 house,” he said.
This got me thinking – how likely do you think it is that your house will burn down, which is a major reason for homeowner’s insurance? Perhaps a 0.2% chance each year of severe flooding is worth insuring against. Insurance is all about paying to transfer the risk for events that can crush you. On that note, I also will need to check if our policy cover sewer backup, which has also caused a lot of damage in the Midwest.
By Jonathan Ping | Insurance | 6/17/08, 3:25am