Wading deep into answering questions about floods and flood insurance

By: Julia Marie Apuda
| Published 08/24/2022


THE WOODLANDS, TX – With the influx of people moving to Texas, and yet another season of harsh winds and hurricanes in the forecast, figuring out what to expect and how to handle it has been a task leading to many pouring questions. In the last few days, The Woodlands area has been struck by several rounds of rain, and major roads have been set to the possibility of being on flood watch. With the wet season active from mid-summer to late fall, residents can brace themselves for the months ahead as, once again, it’ll be time to gas up the generator and hold out for hectic nights of shopping trips straight after power cuts.

Sometimes, it never rains, but it pours

As personal and public safety balances on options of how best to keep you and your possessions protected, planning ahead of time for how to handle unfortunate events is essential. The floods of previous years in The Woodlands has brought the question of flood insurance – even if your property isn’t in a flood zone – to the forefront.

Woodlands Online sat down with Donna Baker, sales manager for Texan Insurance, to discuss the particulars of flooding and flood insurance.

What is flood insurance?

Flood insurance, in contrast to regular homeowner insurance, covers damages from rising waters in properties along with content loss. This includes appliances, electrical systems, and a capped amount for personal properties ranging between clothes, furniture, etc. For scale, NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) / FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) stated parameters that Building Property Insurance can cover up to $250,000, and for Personal Property, $100,000 in losses.

Homeowner’s insurance does not cover outside flood damage so it’s important to make sure your home is protected from rising water. “Flood insurance protects you from damage done to your home and personal possessions by rising water from an outside source like street flooding; it is not part of a standard homeowner’s policy and must be purchased separately,” said Baker. “Recent weather events across Texas and the United States have demonstrated the devastation that flooding can cause, so it’s an important coverage to consider.”

What are flood zones?

Since last year, zoning upon FEMA’s system has changed regarding the fact it has now shifted more towards considering your location and proximity to nearing bodies of water. However, places are still essentially split up into high, moderate, and low-risk areas – a 500-year flood plain means less risk than a 100-year one.

This directly affects how much you’d pay for your insurance, as some places are considered higher risk than others. For example, living in a home by the beach would mean your address is more susceptible to repetitive loss. Nonetheless, even despite your risk – or lack thereof – Donna Baker, sales manager at Texas Insurance, has stated that there had been at least one flood every year for the past 8 years between the zones.

How much does flood insurance cost generally?

Depending on your location, insurance can vary in cost. On average, insurance is priced between $570-$686 annually but can go as low as $400.

Is The Woodlands a flood zone?

As a lower-risk area, The Woodlands is almost up to par with Katy and places within the Houston range. Still, it’s not invincible from natural conditions, and had flooded significantly during Hurricane Harvey, the Tax Day Floods of 2016 and more. Altogether, it is still considered a BCX zone on the 500-year plain.

“The Woodlands is one of the premier Houston suburbs,” said Baker. “Right now the Woodlands does not experience flooding like other areas in Houston. But, as its population continues to grow and its infrastructure continues to develop, that could change in the near future. On top of that, it’s important to remember that any area can flood at any time.”

Should you buy flood insurance?

Evaluating where you live and what risks you believe apply to your housing situation ultimately determines whether or not you should consider purchasing insurance. But whether or not your house is close to the coast or high up in the suburbs, it still doesn’t mitigate the chances your home could flood. So to answer this question, it is entirely dependent on you and your assessment.

Flood insurance can be purchased by homeowners, landowners, and renters alike, so even if you’re paying rent instead of a mortgage, you can be covered.

Remember to note that Texas insurance policies usually go into action one month after purchase, so it’s not something you want to set aside in case you want to learn more. Make sure to connect with any homeowner’s insurance agent for further information, and feel free to seek them out for a plan that suits you the most.

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