Do You Need Flood Insurance?
By Brad Lucht
South Kansas City experienced two “50-year” flood events within a one-month period of time. Business were destroyed. Jobs were lost.
This may leave you asking yourself, “Do I need flood insurance?”
The answer is … maybe.
First, you need to assess your risk. Do I live in a flood zone?
Flood zones are land areas identified by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Each flood zone describes that land area in terms of its risk of flooding. Everyone lives in a flood zone–it’s just a question of whether you live in a low, moderate, or high-risk area.
To find out whether you live in or near a flood zone, visit the city’s online mapping system:
Add your address to the search bar, and then click on the layers tab. Check the box for Floodplain; the areas identified as ‘Zone A, AE, AH, AO or Floodway’ are the high-risk Special Flood Hazard Areas. 0.2% Annual Chance indicates that an area is expected to flood once every 500 years.
You can only purchase flood insurance through an insurance agent; you cannot buy it directly from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
The agent who helps you with your homeowners or renters insurance may be able to help you with purchasing flood insurance too.
If your insurance agent does not sell flood insurance, you can contact the NFIP Referral Call Center at (888) 379-9531 to request an agent referral.
Two Types of Flood Insurance Coverage
When most people think of flood insurance, they think of coverage for their home or business. But contents are not covered by a building/structure flood policy. You’ll need another policy for contents within the building.
The NFIP encourages people to purchase both types of coverage.
In fact, your mortgage company may require that you purchase a certain amount of flood insurance coverage.
For additional help contact the NFIP: 1-913-837-5220 or Abishop@nfip-iservice.com.
Ally Bishop with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) can assist with your questions about flood insurance and your property’s flood risk determination.