So you have found out you are in a special flood hazard area. So now its time to find a flood insurance policy. 

So how do you pick the right flood insurance agent?



I mean all flood insurance is the same, right??

Today we are going to look at two approaches flood insurance agencies take when setting up flood policies. At the end we hope to help you pick the choice that is right for you.

First if a flood insurance company tells you all flood insurance is the same this is a great sign that they are not the right flood insurance agent for you.

All flood insurance is not the same. Even flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program might now be the same.

There are many things that could give someone a different rate. There are three things below that we will take a quick look at.

  1. Elevation certificates
  2. Policy assumption
  3. Grandfathering


Elevation certificates could show a big difference in rate. If this elevation certificate shows you are above the base flood elevation it could give you a great rate while without it the rate maybe much higher.

Policy assumption is another way that National Flood Insurance Program rates could be different. This is when one policy is signed over from one property owner to the next.

We have see more than $3000 rate here. You see when you set up a new policy with National Flood Insurance Program its based on current rates and guidelines.

However when a policy is assumed it is going off the guidelines of when the policy was set up. If this policy has been in place even more than a year it could be much cheaper rates. This is why we recommend looking at a policy assumption when possible.

So what about grandfathering?


Trust me grandfathering can make a big difference in rates when available. I know I had to grandfather my own property in Monroe Georgia almost 10 years ago. 

I was told flood insurance would be more than $3000 a year. However because of my educational background in flood mitigation and understanding grandfathering my rate $350 a year.

So as you can see there can be a lot of differences in rate with the National Flood Insurance Program.

However you also don't want to forget about private flood insurance. If someone tells you it doesn't exist or they don't offer it then they might not be the right flood insurance agent for you. Private flood insurance can offer some unique coverages and pricing.

Now lets look at transactional and consultative

Transactional Flood Insurance Agencies

Transactional flood insurance agents or agencies many times are trying to make the process as quick and painless for you. There can be some benefits to using them like the cheapest rate some times and getting things done quickly.

These type of agencies are usually based on volume so they are doing a lot of these policies everyday.

However many times where this can be a danger is picking the right coverages and long term impacts.

On these transactional agencies many times they will have you pick the coverages or will put what the mortgage company requires. This can be dangerous if you are like most consumers you probably aren't sure what coverages are needed for flood insurance.

To give you an example of these I spoke to a client yesterday that wanted 8,000 in contents coverage for his lake cabin. We started talking about furniture and personal belongings in the cabin. It had at least 50,000 worth of stuff. So we recommended about 100,000 in contents coverage for them.

You generally may not get this with a transactional flood insurance agency. Now let's look at the long term impacts. Many times these transactional flood insurance agencies do not look at long term impacts on the customer.

We are talking about long term rates and the impact of flood insurance claims. Wouldn't it be nice to know how stable flood insurance rates are in an area over a 5 year period. Wouldn't also be nice to know how flood insurance claims might impact you before filing them.

These are some of things you don't get with a transactional flood insurance agency. Now let's look at consultative flood insurance agencies.


Consultative Flood Insurance Agencies

Have you ever had a problem you needed help walking through and wanted to know what solutions are available. You might even need help getting to these solutions. This is exactly what consultative flood insurance agencies do.

They walk property owners through the following things

  1. Flood insurance coverages
  2. Flood insurance options
  3. Flood zones
  4. Flood mitigation
  5. Long term rates
  6. Impacts of flood claims

So let's look at flood insurance coverages first. These type of agencies or agents walk customers through understanding building coverage, contents, coverage, loss of use when available, and deductibles.

Consultative flood insurance agencies generally do a good job of using examples of when each coverage would be needed.

For example the difference in coverage for appliances and furniture. One might be part of the building and the other one may not.

Then there is flood insurance options. This is where a consultative flood insurance agency could save you a lot of money and headaches long term.

A good consultative flood insurance agency shows the customer the difference in the national flood insurance program and private flood insurance companies.


They show them the benefits and negatives. For example what if you saved a $100 by switching to a private flood insurance policy this year. However it cost you a $1000 more next year. Wouldn't be nice if someone could show you that.

Now when it comes to flood insurance rates a consultative flood insurance agency may not have the cheapest rate but it can be the best policy. No one cares how much money they saved when a flood insurance claim occurs and they have nothing.

This could help you as a property owner make a better decision on flood insurance.

So what about the long term impact of flood insurance claims.

Flood insurance claims work differently than property claims. When a traditional home insurance claim occurs it might stay on the insured and property record for 3-5 years. If the insured goes to buy another home this claim might hurt them. This is not the case with flood insurance claims as they follow the property.

However flood insurance claims can stay on the property forever. For example many private flood insurance companies will not insure a property that has ever had a claim. Others may not want any claims in the last five years.

So what if you filed a $1500 claim on a policy with a $1000 deductible? Well if it s a private flood insurance policy then the policy could be non renewed.

In fact we recently saw this happen with a property owner 2 weeks before renewal. They ended up having to go back to the National Flood Insurance Program with a rate that was $5000 higher.

These are the type of things that consultative flood insurance agencies can help you avoid.

So you might ask what is The Flood Insurance Guru?

We pride our selves on being a consultative flood insurance agency.

So if you have further flood insurance questions or how to pick the right agent click here.

You can also check out our daily flood education videos on our YouTube channel.

You can also tune into our podcast by clicking here.

Remember we have an educational background in flood mitigation. This means we are here to help you understand your flood insurance, flood risk, and mitigating your property long term.




Chris Greene


Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation


Over the past month I have done a lot of traveling shooting flood education content. On those travels I have been in places that have been hit hard by flooding over the last few years. I traveled to Houston, Galveston, and Wimberly Texas. These areas have all see major flood damage over the last few years.

These areas also house many secondary and vacation homes for property owners. Some of these properties have seen minor flooding and some have seen major flooding. Many of these areas have seen loss of life as a result of flooding.

Blanco River flooding Wimberly Texas

As Tropical storm Beta approaches these areas and is expected to drop large amounts of rainfall and storm surge we want to look at what you can expect when it comes to your Texas flood insurance policy.

Through out these two areas in Texas people have two different types of flood insurance. They have the National Flood Insurance Program and they have private flood insurance. These two programs can be pretty different when it comes to coverages. Most people jump to the private flood insurance market when they can because it's cheaper and you can get better coverage. I think many people through our Port Aransas, Houston, and Galveston will tell you to read your policy.

galveston Texas coast

We mentioned earlier many of these properties are secondary or seasonal properties. What you may not know is many private flood insurance companies default to an actual cash value basis on these policies.

So what exactly does that mean for your Texas property?

Well it means you won't generally get the full amount on your policy. If you have a $250,000 flood policy you may only get $125,000. That could be a big surprise couldn't it. Thats exactly what happened to a lady in Houston after hurricane Harvey hit. She had a $150,000 flood policy that only paid out $15,000.

So you ask why?

Well she did not insure to 80% of replacement cost or the $250,000 max that the National Flood Insurance Program offers so her policy defaulted to actual cash value.

Thats a big shocker. So when you are setting up this flood insurance policy or if you ever change your flood insurance policy in Texas you want to have your insurance agent highlight these areas of the policy. When switching private flood insurance carriers make sure you are truly getting replacement cost on your policy up to the amount you have listed on the policy.

Maybe you don't have an agent that has done this or you don't have an agent at all?

Then click here and we will be glad to do a review with you.

While there are multiple options for flood insurance in Texas you want to make sure you are getting the policy that is right for you.

So if you live in Texas and want to learn more about your flood insurance options then make sure to check out our daily flood education videos on our YouTube channel. You can also checkout our podcast for this video here.


Remember we have an educational background in flood mitigation. This means we can help you understand your flood risks, flood insurance, and mitigating your property to help you minimize flood losses and flood premiums.


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Chris Greene


Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation

New flood maps are going into place for Galveston County Texas on August 2019. Its going to have a bigger impact in certain areas like League City. We want to discuss specifically how this city in the county will be impacted.

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The last time flood maps where updated was 1999 as you can imagine alot can change in 20 years. Texas has seen some devastating  flooding from hurricanes Ike and Harvey during that time frame. We have also seen major land development in this area in the last 20 years which can have a major impact on flood zones. 

What Will Impact be in League City

According to Community Impact Newspaper when maps were originally put in place in 1999 there were only 1,265 home in the 100 year flood zone. We all knew this number would increase with population increase combined with land development. However most people had no idea that number would increase to 3.730 homes in the 100 year flood zone.  This could have a major impact on property values in the area and  the ability for people to afford a mortgage.

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            Property Values

Property values could easily drop when these new flood maps go into place. One reason is that someone is not going to want to pay an additional $200 a month for house that is in a high risk flood zone when they could get more house for their money on a home that is not in the high risk flood zone. While homes that are being moved from a low risk flood zone, which is a flood zone X to a flood zone A or AE may not see a huge impact the first year, they could the second year.

Coastal landscape Beach view of boardwalk and deck by dune near peaked roofs of houses in Cape Cod, Massachusetts

Impact on Mortgage

Like many other coastal areas have shown us when an area is moved into a high risk flood zone it can have big impact on mortgages and the ability for someone to get a mortgage. What would you do if your mortgage increased by $200 a month tomorrow.

  Well you would probably panic a little bit as maybe you should. This could possibly force you into a bankruptcy situation, so what if you want to but the home?

When purchasing a home mortgage companies use something called debt to income to determine how much house you could afford. Well flood insurance premiums just like home insurance premiums are part of this equation. So $200 a month could easily stop you from getting the home of your dreams or even your starter home. So what other options are available?


Technology online banking money transfer, e-commerce concept. Happy young man using smartphone with dollar bills flying away from screen isolated on gray wall office background.

What are the Options

There are really three different options on the table when this happens in a community. You can do a policy through the National Flood Insurance Program, the private flood insurance market, or fight it.

National Flood Insurance Program

So when a League City or Galveston property is placed in a high risk flood zone the first thing people think about is the NFIP or FEMA. If you are going from a low risk zone to a high risk zone in Galveston then you have newly mapped flood insurance rates available. This is very important because it is very common for people in Galveston to be overcharged hundreds of dollars because a policy is not written correctly. When you qualify for new mapped rates you are basically getting the preferred rate for the first year. Each year after this your rate will continue to increase until the premium matches the flood risk correctly. That could mean a rate increasing 125% over a 5 year period since this is the current max renewal increase FEMA can do. So then what is the other option for flood insurance in League City and Galveston Texas? Well that would be private flood insurance.


Private Flood Insurance

Private flood insurance is just like it sounds. It is flood insurance that is provided by private companies in Galveston Texas. Because of this they can use their own underwriting guidelines and determine flood premiums differently. Private flood insurance can also decline Galveston properties depending on the risk. For example if a property has flooded in the last 5 years or a claim exceeds $50,000 than it is likely the private company would decline it. They could also decline it if it is in a floodway. If you are a good fit for private flood it could save you up to 50% compared to FEMA with more coverages. So we have talked about NFIP and private flood insurance, is there anyway to overturn these new maps?

Can You Fight It

Can you fight these changes? Yes you can now you might not when your case in Galveston like you might in other parts of the country. If any area has had a history of flooding then winning this fight is less likley. Something else that needs to happen is the lowest adjacent grade of your property needs to be above the base flood elevation by usually 1 foot in coastal areas like Galvestorn or League City Texas.

So maybe you have questions about what flood options are available in Galveston or League City Texas? Please visit our website Flood Insurance Guru

You can also check out our YouTube channel or Facebook page The Flood Insurance Guru where we do daily flood education videos. Click the link below to learn more about these options as well.


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Chris Greene


Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation