Most people in Atlanta do not have flood insurance - CBS46 News

Most people in Atlanta do not have flood insurance

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ATLANTA (CBS46) -

The majority of homeowners in the area devastated by Hurricane Harvey lack flood insurance, leaving many who escaped the storm with little financial help to rebuild their homes and lives.

The alarming statistic is that 80 percent of the homeowners in Houston do not have flood insurance.

Shannon Price sells flood insurance with Pritchard & Jerden and says, “A lot of them don’t because they might be considered in low-risk flood zones so its not required to have flood insurance.”

The last major flooding in the metro Atlanta area was in Austell in 2009, and because that was rare people usually opt out of flood insurance.

“Your mortgage company determines that you're either in a special flood zone area or you're in a low risk area. If you're in a low risk area, they don’t require you to buy it, so unless you're required to buy it, most people don’t.”

Following historic flooding in Texas from Hurricane Harvey, Insurance Commissioner Ralph Hudgens wants to remind Georgians that a flood policy can be a valuable addition to standard homeowners’ coverage.

“Purchasing flood insurance is an important consideration for Georgia consumers, even if you think a flood is unlikely in your area,” Hudgens said. “Between 20 and 25 percent of flood claims occur in areas considered medium or low-risk for floods.”

Hudgens said flood coverage is federally backed by the National Flood Insurance Program. Flood insurance is available for up to $250,000 for damage to your home and $500,000 for your business.

A standard flood policy will cover the basic structure, as well as the furnace, water heater, air conditioner, floor surfaces (carpeting and tile) and debris clean up.

According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the average flood insurance policy costs a little more than $700 a year for coverage. The actual cost to you will depend upon where you live and the amount of coverage you choose.

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