March 14, 2013 | 5069 views
Ask the Architect
Do we need flood insurance?
Q. We’re trying to figure out if we are in a flood zone. We weren’t flooded, nor do we have flood insurance, but the water stopped only a block away. How do we find out if we’re in a flood zone, whether we were supposed to have flood insurance and whether we will need to lift our house? If we need to, how high do we raise it?
Determining whether you need flood insurance from the map is only part of the answer. Also contact your home insurance company, although you may need to prepare for the answer you may have been hoping to avoid. Some companies are asking for flood coverage even for homeowners near a flood zone but not in one.
Years ago, a friend made a wise suggestion that the best insurance, if you can afford it, is to insure yourself (which most of us can never afford, of course) along with your bank-required insurance payment. He also didn’t do it, although if you can set aside money with self-discipline, you can avoid the disaster now besetting so many who are discovering that they paid into a system that will not pay them back for the crisis they expected to be covered for.