What You Need to Know on Flood Insurance for Hurricane Season 2018
By Ashley Daniels
Here at Coastal Carolinas Association of REALTORS® (CCAR), we pride ourselves on standing strong as the area’s trusted source in hurricane preparedness. Which is why we want area homeowners to be as educated as possible on the issues of flood insurance, with the recent June 1 arrival of hurricane season.
“We want our community of homeowners and home buyers, as well as our membership of REALTORS®, to be as prepared as possible for hurricane season each and every year – to know how to best protect their home, their family and their precious valuables,” says Laura Crowther, CEO of CCAR. “And that requires an essential knowledge of flood insurance.”
Our CCAR REALTOR® members are trained on the specifics and updates of flood insurance, an insurance that is required if you have a mortgage on a property. According to CCAR REALTOR® member Drew Streett with Garden City Realty, this is a factor for more than 20,000 communities nationwide, including our local coastal zones.
Unfortunately, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is scheduled to expire July 31, 2018, which means the federal government must reauthorize the NFIP before that date for it to continue.
“If the NFIP isn’t funded,” says Streett, “more and more homeowners could become uninsured and that would place a greater financial burden on the government in cases of natural disaster.”
In November 2017, the House of Representatives passed The 21st Century Flood Reform Act, intended to reauthorize and improve the NFIP, including limits on flood insurance premiums for residential properties, the development of more accurate flood maps, the improvement of the claims process and more. The Act now sits with the Senate; the National Association of Realtors (NAR) is working closely with members of Congress to act quickly so there is no risk of a shutdown.
“Many homes in our area were built prior to current flood laws,” says Streett. “These home have finished spaces on the ground level and don’t have proper flood venting and open spacing. [Without the NFIP], the cost for private insurance on these properties will be unbearable and would leave these homes uninsured.”
For updates on the issues of the NFIP and FEMA, as well as a toolkit of up-to-date brochures, webinars, links, flood zone maps and more, visit http://www.ccarsc.org/government/flood-insurance/.