I am a risk management and insurance student at the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia. I'll be in Charleston for the summer as an intern at Triest Agency and have only been here a few times before. Last week, I had to drive down Calhoun Street in downtown Charleston after a rainstorm. I say drive, but I think I may have floated halfway down the road. I would have had an easier time getting home in a kayak. I was shocked by the extent of the effects of a few hours of rain. Suddenly, flood insurance didn’t seem like the worst idea in the world.
Generally speaking, living closer to the coast increases your likelihood of suffering from flood from tropical weather systems. But what many South Carolina and Georgia homeowners do not know is there is also an increased flood risk to non-coastal areas of these states. In fact, in recent years more flood claims have originated from non-coastal properties than from coastal properties. Although proximity to the coast plays a role in flood insurance, flood risks and flood insurance premiums depend much more heavily on flood zone classifications assigned to properties by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
"Flood hazard areas identified on the Flood Insurance Rate Map are identified as a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA). SFHA are defined as the area that will be inundated by the flood event having a 1-percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year. The 1-percent annual chance flood is also referred to as the base flood or 100-year flood. SFHAs are labeled as Zone A, Zone AO, Zone AH, Zones A1-A30, Zone AE, Zone A99, Zone AR, Zone AR/AE, Zone AR/AO, Zone AR/A1-A30, Zone AR/A, Zone V, Zone VE, and Zones V1-V30. Moderate flood hazard areas, labeled Zone B or Zone X (shaded) are also shown on the FIRM, and are the areas between the limits of the base flood and the 0.2-percent-annual-chance (or 500-year) flood. The areas of minimal flood hazard, which are the areas outside the SFHA and higher than the elevation of the 0.2-percent-annual-chance flood, are labeled Zone C or Zone X (unshaded)." Source: FEMA
When requesting a flood insurance quote, you will be asked to produce the elevation certificate for your property. The relationship between the base flood elevation and the elevation of your home plays a huge role in calculating flood insurance premiums. Flood zone boundaries are set by FEMA, and two identical houses on opposite sides of the same street could have vastly different flood insurance premiums if they are located in different flood zones.
Flood claims don’t just stem from tropical storms hitting the coast. Flood claims can result from many occurrences, such as lake flooding and dam failures just to name a few. I have only been interning at Triest Agency and living in downtown Charleston for a short time, but I haven’t seen many houses on top of hills. It’s great for running, but not for floods. Increased rates only highlight the importance of obtaining flood insurance for your South Carolina or Georgia home. These higher rates result from of an increased probability of loss, which makes flood insurance an imperative expenditure for homeowners in all parts of the South Carolina and Georgia, not just those on the coast.
At Triest, we make obtaining flood insurance as simple and affordable as possible for you. Once you contact us, we will work to find you the best rates and coverage available. We have extensive experience working with insurers that specialize in insuring homes with an increased risk of flood damage, both on and off the coast. When you come to Triest Agency, you can be sure that you are not justing getting the standard flood insurance quote for your area, but instead the best rate available between many competitive insurance providers. Low rates, along with the expertise and guidance of our experienced account executives, make Triest the premier insurance agency for homeowners in South Carolina and Georgia. To get your free flood insurance quote please visit our website http://www.triestagency.com/flood-insurance-quote.html or call our quick quote line at 800-474-5062.
Triest Agency Summer 2017 Intern
The University of Georgia Honors College, Athens, Georgia
Risk Management & Insurance Major
Terry College of Business