HOUSTON, TX — If you live in a rental property or looking to get one in Texas, you should know that there will be significant changes to flood insurance in the state. This generally covers apartments and those who rent a property from landlords. 

Texas Landlords are Required to Let You Know About Flood Risks

Today, we want to talk about the new law in Texas requiring landlords to basically disclose and notify renters of flood risks on their rental property before having these potential individual or family sign their lease. We also want to talk about how this can help provide more protection on flood risks and unwanted flood loss.

What's New?

When Hurricane Harvey hit Houston, it dumped more than 40 inches of rain over a short amount of time and flooded properties that had never been flooded before. Areas that were told they didn't need flood insurance got hit hard with flooding at that time. A lot of these areas were flooded because they sat between two reservoirs. 

Starting on January 1st, 2022, landlords are expected to notify potential people who are looking to rent their properties: from apartment to a single-family home, renters will get an idea and insight on the expected flood risks on the property you're looking to buy.

Texas Landlords are Required to Let You Know About Flood Risks

This is great news for more families in Harris County since most of these people rent properties. In a way, this is like a security deposit in a way that the renter will be aware of how much property damage they can expect once Texas gets flooded. 

Basically, if the property you're looking to rent got flooded at least once in the last five years or lives in the 100-year flood plain, your landlord has to give you a notification in writing as said by Texas Representative Armando Walle. The landlord failing to do so entitles the renter to break the lease agreement if the apartment gets flooded or substantially damaged due to floodwater. 

Why Change Now?

Now, most people would ask why is now the good time to have this law out there? Well, as we get through Hurricane Harvey, and now we've gotten through a whole year of back and forth with floods in Texas due to consistent heavy rainfall, this law is really coming in the right place at the right time.

As we fix these flooded properties or maybe some that are getting flipped when real estate investors buy them, they're going to have to disclose the flooding history of the property. This really does a great job protecting a consumer or buyer in the rental market. Now that we've addressed that side of the market, it's only fair that two years after we also provide the same amount of protection to renters.

Texas Landlords are Required to Let You Know About Flood Risks

A renter named Kenny Ryman was able to recall that during Hurricane Harvey, his apartment was flooded and he didn't have any clue about it. Despite living for 56 years in the rental property, he wasn't informed that the area flooded and caused a lot of property damage to Ryman.

Will this have an impact on the apartments and rental market in areas like Houston in Texas? Absolutely since these rental properties may not sell as much as they did before because you're having to notify whether or not these properties were flooded or not recently. 

So we just wanted to do a quick rundown on this Texas law change as this will definitely change the course of the rental market in Texas as well as directly impact the flood insurance premiums for these houses.

If you have more questions on this Texas law change, federal flood insurance, the insurance industry in general, how the National Flood Insurance Program works, or anything about floods. Reach out to us by clicking the link below.

The Flood Insurance Guru | 2054514294

You can also visit our Flood Learning Center where we try to answer your most common flood insurance questions.

Flood Insurance Guru | Service | Knowledge Base

Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation and we want to help you protect the value of your property long-term.

The Flood Insurance Guru | Blog | Flood Threat On Texas

Before the month of May came, San Antonio and other parts of Texas experienced heavy rainfall over the weekend. This caused properties to experience flooding with the state being in a flash flood warning throughout the time. Flash flooding remains a threat after up to six inches of rain poured over the state over the weekend. A lot of roadways were severely impacted by this flooding across Nacogdoches and San Augustine stranding cars and drivers due to the flooded roadways causing damages across the state of Texas. Houston was also threatened with river flooding and is expected to go like this across the month of May. This can also mean that Houston may be at a higher risk when it comes to coastal flooding.

So, today, we want to cover what this can mean for flood insurance for Texans, how it could impact the flood policies moving forward, and your flood insurance options as well.

Impacts on Flood Insurance

As we're less than sixty days from hurricane season, flooding is expected to be more common across the United States, and in cases as the one Texas had, this can cause a lot of changes for flood insurance moving forward.

First, we want to share a tip that if your property's not severely impacted by the flood and only small amounts are impacted, don't file that flood claim immediately as this can cause your flood insurance rate to go up when it comes to renewal.  Instead, you want to make sure that the flood claim won't be misused by collecting and gathering all the relevant information on the damages you had due to this flooding. This way, you can get more out of the flood claim and avoid having the property marked under severe repetitive loss.

The Flood Insurance Guru | Blog | Flood Threat On Texas

Severe repetitive loss means that the property has had a flood claim, disaster assistance, or federal assistance grant more than once in the last ten years. This can cause flood insurance premiums to really go up for these properties through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). When it comes to the private flood insurance market, this can mean that these insurance companies will avoid writing a flood policy for these properties due to the higher flood risks it has considering its flood history.

Also, since there will be people who will file flood claims from the state in this period of time, we can also expect that there will be higher flood insurance premiums across the area as it's possible that the next flood map will move these properties into a higher risk flood zone. This means that a lot of property owners in Houston, Sweeny, San Antonio, and places like that will be required to carry flood insurance for their property. Those closer to rivers, the coasts, or any body of water may be moved into flood zone AE which generally will be required to carry an elevation certificate. An elevation certificate will have a separate cost from the standard flood insurance policy payments, so this can really hurt a lot of wallets in the future.

You may be asking right about now how you can fight these negative changes in flood insurance and what your flood insurance options are.

Flood Insurance Options

The NFIP

The most common flood insurance option that policyholders would usually go for is the federal flood insurance from FEMA. Now, we've mentioned multiple times that they have a max coverage for buildings and contents or personal items. This coverage is maxed at $250,000 for residential properties and up to $500,000 if it's written for a commercial building. Regardless of the type of building, this will have a max of $100,000 when it comes to coverages on personal property.

The Flood Insurance Guru | Blog | Flood Threat On Texas

What we want to focus on here is for those who are asking, what if I have an active policy with the NFIP and FEMA, what can I do to fight these changes? Well, there are several things you can do which involve relevant flood insurance documents that can help you reduce the flood insurance premium for your property.

The first thing is to use the elevation certificate if you believe that your property shouldn't be in a high-risk flood zone. If your property is about four feet above the base flood elevation level in your area then you can get a letter of map change (LOMC) which can remove you from the high-risk flood zone and get you back to low-risk flood zones with low flood insurance rates. It's important to note that this isn't a certain remedy for your situation as FEMA and the NFIP will have to assess the details that you provided.

The Flood Insurance Guru | Blog | Flood Threat On Texas

Another thing you can use to your advantage is to check with your local floodplain manager to see if your community is participating in the NFIP. Participating communities may get up to forty percent discount on flood insurance premiums depending on the Community Rating Score (CRS). The CRS is rated depending on how much flood mitigation efforts are being put out by your community and the more efficient mitigation efforts you do, the higher the discount could be.

Lastly, if you're looking to get flood insurance through FEMA and the NFIP, it's best that you do it ahead of time since there may be a waiting period of 30-days before the policy takes effect on your property. Now, if the NFIP flood policy doesn't really fit your needs and isn't the best flood insurance option, you can always move into the private flood market after canceling your NFIP policy.

The Private Flood

Private flood insurance is managed and provided by private insurance companies like Lloyds of London. This means that the red tapes that you have to go through with federal flood insurance won't be there. This can also have a faster effectivity date for those buying flood insurance since the maximum waiting period is fifteen days

When it comes to the private flood, coverage on buildings or properties and contents can be very different from the NFIP since they don't really have any coverage limits. This means that the amount they will cover won't be maxed out as long as the insured needs it. Property damage coverage can go up to $10,000,000 and personal items coverage can go up to $1,000,000. There are also additional coverages on private flood policies like additional living expenses, replacement costs, and loss of use

The Flood Insurance Guru | Blog | Flood Threat On Texas

Flood insurance premiums are expected to be significantly lower in the private market compared to the NFIP which can really help you when it comes to immediate flood preparedness actions.

As the risk of flooding become higher as we approach the hurricane season, we can expect dangerous flash flooding, flood waters becoming higher, threat of storm surge, torrential rains, and intensity of rain to be more frequent. This is why we always advise you to look out for tornado and flood warnings during this season and establish better flood risk communication with your local floodplain management team.

The Flood Insurance Guru | Blog | Flood Threat On Texas

At the end of the day, these types of floods can't be predicted nor controlled accurately, so you want to make sure that you're protected at all times.

If you have any questions about flood insurance or anything about flood, reach out to us. Remember, we have an educational background in flood mitigation and we want to help you protect the value of your property long term through flood education and awareness. You too can be flood-ready so you won't be caught off guard when crap happens. Click the links below to get started.

The Flood Insurance Guru | 2054514294  Get Your Quote from Flood Insurance Guru    The Flood Insurance Guru | Chris Greene | YouTube

 

If I had a dime for every time I was asked the question how much flood insurance cost in San Antonio Texas I might just own a private island.

It's a valid question of course you want to know how much flood insurance is going to cost on your San Antonio Texas property.

The problem is that there is no simple answer. There are many things that can impact the cost of flood insurance in San Antonio Texas. Two things we want to look at are

  1. Location
  2. Elevation

Location is a driving factor of flood insurance cost in San Antonio. Whether you are located in a special flood hazard area or not can be a big price difference.

If you are lucky enough to be in the minimal risk zone also called flood zone x then you may have access to preferred rates.

So what is a flood zone x in San Antonio Texas?

 

As mentioned above this is an area that FEMA has determined to be in a minimal risk area. This means that the chance of flooding should be lower than the special flood hazard area. However the recent study by the first street foundation shows us that the risk for flooding is still there. San Antonio is in their top 20 list of cities with the greatest number of properties at substantial risk for flooding.

If you live in Texas then you know minimal risk doesn't mean no risk. Just look at hill country areas like Wimberly Texas and the flooding they have been through the last 5 years.

 

So what about the second factor elevation?

Elevation can play a major role in flood insurance cost in San Antonio. Something we want to pay attention to is base flood elevation.

So what is base flood elevation in San Antonio Texas?

 

According to FEMA base flood elevation is the elevation of surface water resulting from a flood that has a 1% chance of equaling or exceeding the level in any given year.

So the further you are below the base flood elevation the higher your rates through the National Flood Insurance Program could be. The further above the base flood elevation the lower your cost could be.

Are all flood insurance rates based on this? These are some of the factors that the National Flood Insurance Program uses for their rates.

Private flood insurance carriers may use these factors combined with other factors. In fact some private carriers even look at 20 year flood plains.

What are 20 year flood plains?

 

In many situations private flood insurance could be half the cost of the National Flood Insurance Program in San Antonio Texas.

Its also important to know that your loan type could determine if you qualify for private flood insurance.

 

Many government backed loans require property owners to purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program.

Past claims could also determine if you qualify.

If you want to see if you qualify for private flood insurance then click here.

So as we mentioned at the beginning determining flood insurance cost in San Antonio Texas can be a complex answer.

The good news is we have an educational background in flood mitigation so we are here to help you understand the answer, understand your flood risks, and flood insurance.

If you want to learn more about flood insurance, flood education, and flood zone changes you can check out our YouTube channel where we do daily flood education videos. You can also checkout our podcast.

 

Contact Us