Flood zone adjustment could impact homeowner, renter insurance r - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Flood zone adjustment could impact homeowner, renter insurance rates

By law, the cities and county are divided into different flood zones based on risk factors. The property's elevation and how close it is to water drastically affect this. By law, the cities and county are divided into different flood zones based on risk factors. The property's elevation and how close it is to water drastically affect this.

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WMBF) – Homes, apartments, yards, and roads are prone to flooding in the Grand Strand. Depending where you live, your risk for what's considered hazardous flooding could be changing. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is looking to rework its flood zones.

By law, the cities and county are divided into different flood zones based on risk factors. The property's elevation and how close it is to water drastically affect this. And this is a big deal for your pocket. The higher risk zone you're in, the more expensive your insurance rates can be.

According to Pat Dowling with the city of North Myrtle Beach, FEMA is going to release its new flood zone maps in the next two to three months. With hurricane season just around the corner, insurance agents warn this is as good a time as ever to pay attention to where you fall on the map.

“Weather is an issue constantly in this area,” says Wade Davis with State Farm. “And homeowners need to be prepared, preferably before the storm gets here or starts bearing down on us.”

North Myrtle Beach is currently in the middle of updating its five-year Hazard Mitigation Plan. The city of Myrtle Beach is not looking to change its plans already in place.

Click here to see where your home, apartment, or business lands on the FEMA flood zone map.

A flood hazard area is considered anything closer to the beach, water, or a low-lying area. But, according to Davis, most people live in a non-hazard area. That does not mean those areas are not prone to flooding.

The good thing about being in a non-hazard zone, your flood insurance will be less expensive than if you were in a high hazard area. But a typical home owner's or renter's insurance policy does not cover flooding.

The National Flood Insurance Program has lower-cost packages set up through the Preferred Risk Program. Davis says 90 percent of the residents in the Grand Strand are eligible for these policies, including renters. For the average home in the area, you'd typically pay $400 per year. A renter can buy coverage for around $150 per year.

It does depend on the amount of coverage you want. “The cost in a lot of cases is negligible,” says Davis. “And we encourage folks to look at the cost, look at the coverages, and look at your potential financial loss in the event you have an issue and don't have any coverage.”

There's insurance for the actual home and then insurance for the contents of your home. That way if you're a renter, you can just get insurance to cover the stuff you have. And if you're a homeowner, you can get both.

Once you sign up, you have to wait 30 days for the coverage to kick in. The only exception to this rule is if you're closing on a house, then the insurance will kick in right away.

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