Do You Need Flood Insurance in Arizona

Flood Insurance in ArizonaEven though Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc on the East Coast, thousands of miles away from Arizona, anyone with a home in the state might be thinking about flood insurance. Well, here’s some good news.

According to The Arizona Republic article, “Reminder to review insurance,” insurance companies focus on “in-state hazards” when they set their prices, so Hurricane Sandy won’t have much effect on the cost of insurance in Arizona or other parts of the Southwest. Rates are set according to risks, and natural disasters in Arizona don’t include hurricanes.

In fact, homeowner-insurance costs in Arizona are moderate. The latest tally by puts the average premium here at $617, compared with a U.S. average of $853. 

In addition to natural disasters, property values, building costs and other factors have an impact on the cost of insurance premiums.

Disasters like Sandy remind us that it’s smart to take time to make periodic reviews of our insurance coverage. Standard homeowner insurance policies cover damage and injuries caused by most natural disasters. However, floods are a notable exception.

Living in Arizona may make you wonder if flood insurance is a wise investment. Here are the facts:

  • Arizona has more flood-insurance policies in force than most states.
  • There have been five federal flood declarations in the state since 2000.
  • Winter storms, summer monsoons, and flash floods in wildfire-charred areas caused the floods.

Additionally, as stated the article “Should you get flood insurance?”:

If you live in a flood plain, FEMA makes sure you’re covered. Not so for far too many residents.

A flood plain by definition is dry most of the time, but it fills with water temporarily. Consider the Salt River basin, the area in which we live, its put residents at risk of flooding for thousands of years.

The federal government decides who is and is not eligible for flood insurance. You can check with your policy provider.

You may get some relief from flood damage through special government grants or loans, but only if a disaster is declared. Therefore, having coverage is helpful for covering damage from flash floods and heavy rains.

The National Flood Insurance Program is the main source of coverage for flood insurance. The NFIP site lists the names of local agents who sell policies. Premiums don’t vary by company.

If you decide that flood insurance is something you want to add to your policy, annual premiums are about $400 in low- to moderate-risk areas.

In the meantime, the State of Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs recommends the following steps for people in hurricane and/or flood zones :

  • Read your insurance policy carefully and talk to your insurance agent if you have questions
  • Consider whether you need more coverage or different types of coverage
  • Deal with licensed agents with companies licensed to do business in Arizona
  • Take inventory of your belongings and maintain a list in a safe place in your home as well as off site
  • Make sure you have sufficient provisions on hand such as canned goods, dried goods, and water (see the FEMA Handbook)
  • Take precautions to secure your home
  • Track storms through the media

Contact your insurance agent in Arizona to see what options they have to best insure your home against an Arizona Flood.

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