Do you really need Flood Insurance in Myrtle Beach?
It is possible that you may never see flood damage to your property. BUT, why risk it? You have a Home Insurance policy that should cover wind/hail, fire, smoke, theft, and much more, but most likely does not cover flood. Most forms of Homeowner's Insurance do not cover flood damage. You have your home covered for all this stuff, but not flood; which is just about as likely to happen as any of the other perils covered in home insurance. And this is if you are in a low-moderate flood zone!
It is important to know that just a few inches of water in your home can cause thousands of dollars of damage and even a total loss; not to mention the stress it brings. And it is a misconception that the government will help out. There is no guarantee the local or federal government will give any assistance.
Flood insurance is available for single family homes, condo units, apartments, and more.
To cover your vehicle for flood damage make sure to have Comprehensive coverage on your Auto Insurance policy.
Who needs flood insurance in Myrtle Beach?
Low - Moderate Risk Flood Areas:
Everyone in South Carolina is in a flood zone. Most properties are in a low to moderate risk zone such as ''X". The "X" flood zone is the most common flood zone around Myrtle Beach. Some call it the 100 year flood zone, meaning a flood could happen every 100 years on average. This could be misleading, causing some to believe they will never see a flood at their home. Actually, almost 25% of flood claims come from homes located in a low to moderate risk areas. In the USA, and according to fema.gov, you are 5 times more likely to experience a flood than a fire in your home over the next 30 years.
*Do not take advise about flood insurance from people who say things like "you don't live in a flood zone, so you don't need flood insurance". We already established that everyone is in a flood zone. We love our realtor friends, but unfortunately some will tell their clients just that. What they really mean is that (if they checked the flood zone) you are in a low - moderate risk area, but you should still inquire about flood insurance.
High Risk Flood Areas:
If your home is in a high risk flood zone such as "AE" or "V", well your risk is high. These flood zones are commonly seen around large bodies of water or tidal water, however a property could be in a high risk flood zone even miles from a natural water source. There are many cases where one property is in a low risk area and the next door neighbor is in a high risk area.
*If you have a mortgage on your home or property and you are in a high risk area, it is almost always required to have flood insurance.
How do I know what flood zone I am in?
When you bought your home you should have been told what flood zone you are in. If you have a mortgage on the property, the lender would have done a flood determination to find the flood zone your property is in. But if you are not sure or want to see if your flood zone has changed, you can search the flood map here -> https://msc.fema.gov/portal/search.
Davis Insurance Associates can check your flood zone for you in South Carolina. Just call (843) 213-0000 or visit thinkdavisinsurance.com.
What does flood insurance cover and what is a flood?
FEMA.gov defines Flood or Flooding as:
A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from:
(1) The overflow of inland or tidal waters;
(2) The unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source;
(3) Mudslides (i.e., mudflows) which are proximately caused by flooding and are akin to a river of liquid and flowing mud on the surfaces of normally dry land areas, as when earth is carried by a current of water and deposited along the path of the current.
A flood inundates a floodplain. Most floods fall into three major categories: riverine flooding, coastal flooding, and shallow flooding. Alluvial fan flooding is another type of flooding more common in the mountainous western states.
A flood insurance policy through the FEMA NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) generally offers two types of coverage - building coverage and contents coverage. We will talk about this more below.
Are there different types of flood insurance?
Yes, there are definitely different types of flood insurance available. Let's look at 2 broad types.
- As mentioned above, there is coverage through the NFIP. They offer a PRP (Preferred Risk Policy) for homes in a low to moderate risk area and that don't have a history of flooding. They also offer their standard policy for properties that do not fit in the PRP program. Again this is a FEMA based policy, so there are not lots of options and available coverages for things like pools or detached structures. It is important to note that, unless your mortgage company requires it, there is a 30 day waiting period for the coverage to be effective.
- Recently, as in the last couple years or so, private flood insurance has become available. This is offered by insurance companies such as Lloyd's of London and others. These private flood policies can sometimes offer protection at a lower cost. AND, they may provide better coverage than a NFIP policy. With a private policy you can have the choice to cover Other Structures on the property or Loss of Use, and the coverage may be more comprehensive. Unlike the NFIP policy, a private policy can usually be bound effective the same day (unless there is a hold on new coverage due to an approaching storm).
Can flood insurance be added to a Homeowner's Insurance policy?
This question is a little tricky. Yes, some insurance carriers have endorsements that can add flood coverage to a home insurance policy. BUT, these endorsements vary widely between companies and the maximum amount of coverage is usually set with a sub-limit. So you may not be able to get enough coverage to replace your home or contents. In addition, the endorsement may not even be available for coastal homes or properties in high risk flood zones.
Home insurance carriers may likely change or evolve their flood insurance endorsements to be more comprehensive in the future, but for now be careful choosing your flood coverage this way.
How much does flood insurance cost in Myrtle Beach?
NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program): The NFIP currently only offers coverage limits up to $250,000 for building coverage and $100,000 for contents coverage.
A PRP (Preferred Risk Policy) in South Carolina will cost you around $400 - $500 for a primary home built on a slab. It can be a little more for a home on a crawlspace. Also, you can expect to pay $225 more for flood insurance on your secondary home or rental property you own. Since these rates are set by FEMA they should be the same across the board.
For a standard flood policy your premium could be similar to that of a PRP policy, or it could be $10,000 or more. The elevation of your home has a lot to do with this. Generally, the higher the house is elevated the lower the premium. In some cases an Elevation Certificate may be required to provide a quote, and in some cases (based on the elevation) it may help your insurance agent provide a lower priced quote.
Private Flood Insurance:
The private flood insurance market is similar to the home insurance market in that while the coverage is typically comparable between carriers, the premiums can vary widely. In some cases the premium can be lower, but since the NFIP is meant to bring affordable flood insurance to the market; often the private market's rates are higher. Keep in mind though that the coverage can be better.
So all in all the average cost of flood insurance in Myrtle Beach is around $350 per year. You should expect your premium to be a bit higher for flood insurance on a single family home.
How do I buy flood insurance in Myrtle Beach?
Flood insurance can be purchased only through an agent or insurer. You cannot buy insurance directly from the government. It is a good idea to get a flood insurance policy from the same company or agent that handles your home insurance. *Sometimes you may get a multi-line discount applied to your home policy. Whether you are looking for a NFIP policy or coverage from a private market, Davis Insurance Associates can help.
Disclaimer: This article provides general and basic information about flood insurance. Always read your entire policy and discuss options with an experienced insurance agent.
Davis Insurance Associates - Flood Insurance Page
FEMA - The National Flood Insurance Program
FloodSmart - The National Flood Insurance Program
City of Myrtle Beach - Flood Protection
Request a Flood Insurance quote now!
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