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Use this WV flood tool to see if you are paying too much

WV flood map
Does my West Virginia homeowner insurance cover flooding?

A typical West Virginia homeowners’ policy is written through Farmers, State Farm, Allstate, and Progressive, for instance, excludes flooding as something that will be covered under their homeowner’s policy.

In most cases, the only way to get flood coverage is by purchasing a stand-alone flood insurance policy. However, you should ask your homeowners agent if you can add an endorsement to your homeowner’s policy to cover flooding. Yet, don’t be too surprised if the answer is NO.

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Do I need flood insurance in West Virginia?

Flooding maps

It is important to have flood insurance coverage in West Virginia because our beloved Cowboy State has seen a fair share of flooding, and there is likely more coming.

We believe that most homeowners think about Flood insurance in West Virginia at some point, maybe before buying a home, or during the closing process.  However, many of us only think about it when a big storm is looming, or we have heard on the news that there is flooding forecasted or happening currently too close to our home.

If your home or business is in a flood zone, that is considered low flood risk area. Sadly, many homeowners decide to forgo purchasing coverage because they believe they are safe from flooding. Some real estate agents and some insurance agents may even say you don’t need it.

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Flood nerd Broken heartI ask you to consider the facts: 20-percent of all flooding events across our nation come in areas that are considered low risk. After our last few major storms (Hurricane Harvey), we saw flooding in these low-risk areas.  In 80 percent of these individuals, they had water in their home or building and didn’t have flood insurance coverage.

In Harris county, nearly 135,000 homes were damaged.  Three-fourths of these properties were considered low to moderate risk.

We hear often that people believe that the government will help, and this is true.  However, there are a few things that must align for you to get government assistance.

1 – The president of the United States must declare the flooding event a state of emergency.  If this doesn’t happen, then there won’t be assistance.

2 – The average amount of assistance that homeowners get after a flood, when they do not have flood coverage, is $5,000.  The average cost of damage to one’s property after a flood is $38,000+.  That $5K you get from the government?  It comes in the form of a loan and you will need to pay it back.  Are you willing to gamble away your financial future by forgoing flood insurance coverage?

https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2017-fema-faulty-flood-maps/

wv flood tool map

One more note on these low-risk flood zone maps. Many of these maps are over 40-years old. If the area has been developed, then there is likely more concrete, creating a barrier for land that previously, might have absorbed the massive downpour.

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WV Flood Map

Because of all these factors, it is difficult for property owners to know their true risk of flooding. FEMA admits that their flood maps only give an idea for part of the risk. Our recent storms are facts that it can rain anywhere within West Virginia, and you should consider getting flood coverage, so you are not uninsured when you need it most.

FEMA flood zone maps often take years to go into effect after the terrain was studied, this gives the impression that the area is “more up to date” then it really is.

The average cost for West Virginia flood insurance in these Low-risk areas is $595 per year.

FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and all federally backed lenders rely on these West Virginia flood insurance maps to assess risk, set premiums, and determine who is required to purchase flood insurance. Bad information about an areas flood risk can leave property owners under or uninsured.

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How much is flood insurance in West Virginia?

West Virginia NFIP flood insurance.

There are many options available in West Virginia regarding flood insurance, but they basically fall into two main categories. The government option also known as the NFIP or FEMA option and the Private flood insurance market

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), also known as FEMA, which is the government option for flood insurance.  The NFIP has enjoyed a 50-state monopoly on the flood insurance market.

Not “private flood insurance” but NFIP Resellers

Progressive Flood Insurance

If you have Nationwide Flood Insurance, State Farm Flood Insurance, Progressive Flood Insurance, or any of the of the logos below then you are buying the NFIP flood policy that is just being resold through a government program. These companies are private companies, but their flood insurance is not. Here is a list of the 70 companies that resell the NFIP policy.

https://www.fema.gov/wyo_company
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West Virginia private flood insurance market

 

Llloyds of London Flood Insurance ShopperThere are alternatives to the NFIP or government insurance.  It  is called Private flood insurance most notably Lloyds of London Flood insurance, however, there are other options available in West Virginia . We shop all the options for your property in your region to ensure you are getting the best premium.  If you are ready to have us do the work for you, please click here.

Our shopping does include the NFIP because sometimes we find that with government subsidies you can get a much better premium.

Get a WV flood insurance quote

Lloyds of London Flood Insurance West Virginia Market

 

West Virginia is fortunate to have many Lloyds of London flood insurance options. Although many Lloyds flood insurance companies will have you assume that there is only one option, nothing could be further from the truth.

Lloyds of London has a rich history and is attributed to have invented the very first modern insurance model. Unlike most of its competition, Lloyds of London is not really a company but rather a corporate body.  This structure works quite well since it has been around for over 330 years. Lloyds operates under multiple financial backers that all pool their capital to spread the risk.

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I have two blog posts that take a deep dive into Lloyds of London and what they mean to West Virginia ’s flood insurance market.  If you are interested, the links are below.

Lloyds of London Flood Insurance

FEMA vs Private Flood Insurance

Lloyds also insures the world for flood insurance, meaning they cover flooding events in India, Australia as well as much of Europe.  You see the “game” of insurance is to spread your risk since Lloyds is worldwide.

Lloyds of London Private Market Flood InsruanceMy joke here is that Lloyds is banking on Gods promise that he won’t flood the entire world again, …..so they won’t have to pay out the whole worlds flood claim.

How much does flood insurance cost in West Virginia?

There are many factors that go into getting the cost of flood insurance for West Virginia. If your home is in what is considered low-to-moderate risk, you can get a heavily subsidized policy though the government.

West Virginia flood insurance low-to Moderate Risk rate and cost.
This is Flood Zone X, which is not lender required flood zone.

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This is usually identified as an X-flood zone.  Then we would suggest the government Preferred Risk Policy (PRP) which is a subsidized policy and has set flood insurance coverage limits (see grid below):

$250K (Residental) /$500K (commercial) Building
NFIP Maximum Coverage Limits

Here a link if you want to really dig into this one. Be ready for an eye chart because every option is public record and should be standardized accost whoever writes these policies.

The average cost for flood insurance in West Virginia with the maximum set limits in these Low-risk flood zone areas is $405 – $700 per year.

https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1523307331106-4cf9726b2eb04c3471a3e9d37a58fa6a/09_prp_508_apr2018.pdf

AE flood Insurance Rates for FEMA
FEMA High-risk Rates

If your property is in higher-risk flood zone, it is usually identified with a Flood Zone AE. Your lender will require you to have flood insurance. The cost of flood insurance in West Virginia depends on many factors that are unique to the structure. We are going to try to give you an idea for the most common homes we see in West Virginia with a slab on grade foundation.

We will look at the West Virginia cost of flood insurance for the NFIP maximum of $250,000 for the (building only) with NO CONTENTS and our recommended deductible of $5,000.

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We will be rating this example on the NFIP, as well as on a few of our private flood insurance policies, specifically Lloyds flood insurance options in West Virginia.

Cost of Flood Insurance in WEST VIRGINIA in high-risk flood zone AE

Our example is in Kanawha, WV, but the premiums will be the same if in Logan, Charleston, Greenbrier, Wood, Putnam, Wheeling, and many other West Virginia flood ones.

In our example, the Base Flood Elevation (BFE is 609) and is a home that is built before 1973

What is BFE?
SHFA

NFIP option in West Virginia Flood Zone AE

NFIP – Coverage of $250,000 building coverage (no Contents coverage) and $5,000 deductible

NFIP Annual premium in High-Risk flood zone is $3,706.00

This option is what we see if the property has had a flood loss before, and either doesn’t have an Elevation Certificate applied or the Elevation certificate showing that the lowest floor is 4 feet under the BFE for the area. You can use 10% of your coverage to cover other structures on your property

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West Virginia Private flood insurance – Lloyds of London Flood Insurance (option 1)

Coverage of $250,000 building coverage (no Contents coverage) and $5,000 deductible

Lloyds of London (option 1) Annual premium in High-Risk flood zone is $901.74

This option is great, and we are very happy when we can get this option. They can be a bit choosey about what risk they will accept and will not take anything that has had a flood loss. They do offer coverage for basements, about $2,000 for loss of use, $2,000 for other structures, but they can’t increase this coverage. They do not require an Elevation Certificate to rate.

West Virginia Private flood insurance – Lloyds of London Flood Insurance (option 2)

Coverage of $250,000 building coverage (no Contents coverage) and $5,000 deductible

Lloyds of London (option 2)  Annual premium in High-Risk flood zone is $914.81

This option is great, and we are very happy when we can get this option for our clients as well. They seem to be writing almost all risks; however, they do not write any property that is in a designated floodway or has the depth of -4 under the BFE.  In our example, with our BFE being 5368, if the lowest floor is 5364, then they will not accept this risk.  They will not take anything that has had a flood loss. They do offer limited coverage for basements and do not require an Elevation Certificate to rate, and as a percentage of coverage for loss of use. If you want coverage for other structures, then that will need to be added.

Flood Nerds Have fun
Lloyds of London Flood Insurance Jumping in

Private Flood insurance option (option 3)  Not Lloyds

Coverage of $250,000 building coverage (no Contents coverage) and $5,000 deductible

Annual premium in High-Risk flood zone is $3,161.22

This option will take properties that have had one flood loss as long as it has been more than five years, and the payout was under $100,000 on the claim. Their coverage matches the NFIP.  They will write practically all risks, don’t need an elevation certificate to rate, and are a bit lower in premium than the NFIP.

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Private Flood insurance –  Lloyds of London (option 4)

This option must be written on the Replacement Cost Value (RCV) of the building, otherwise there is a co-insurance penalty that kicks in. So, $250,000 might be a bit low in California, but to keep this going, let’s just use that for this option

Coverage of $250,000 (RCV) building coverage, No Contents and $5,000 deductible

Annual premium in High-Risk flood zone is $801.02 (great price).

This options rating system is all over the board.  Sometimes we get a crazy great price, but other times the premium is way higher than the NFIP will consider taking a property that has had one flood loss before as long as it has been more than ten years and the payout was under $50,000 on the claim. Their preferred coverage is at replacement cost, which is a bit different from some of our other Lloyd’s flood options.  We usually reserve this one if the property doesn’t fit into any of our options above. We can adjust coverages to control premium. As mentioned before, this underwriters’ rates are all over the board.  It is worth shopping through to make sure we are getting you the best premium we can. They don’t need an elevation certificate to rate.

Private Flood insurance –  Lloyds of London (option 5)

Coverage of $250,000 (RCV) building coverage, No Contents and $5,000 deductible.

Annual premium in High-Risk flood zone is $1,026.84

This option came out of the company that used to run the NFIP program, so the coverage almost exactly matches the NFIP coverage with two differences. They offer living expenses which will cover your cost, when you are displaced from your home during repairs (most Lloyds flood policies offer this).  They also offer swimming pool clean out, which is kind of unique so if you have a pool ask for this coverage.

Private Flood insurance –  Lloyds of London (option 6)

Coverage of $250,000 (RCV) building coverage. No Contents and $5,000 deductible.

Annual premium in High-Risk flood zone is $904.05

This options rating system is also all over the board. Sometimes we get a crazy low price; other times the premium is way higher than the NFIP. They will consider taking a property that has had one flood loss before as long as it has been more than ten years and the payout was under $25,000 on the claim. They have been rumored to give a low price the first year and then non renew following years or sometimes they jack the price way up so we will watch them. They have a slick system, and their underwriting is managed by a 3rd party, which also seems to be a glitch sometimes.

There are more options coming online every day, and we are working to be looking into every viable option.

Use this WV flood tool to gage if you are paying too much for flood insurance.

Yes please Shop my Flood Insurance

Currently, West Virginia has 15,110 NFIP policies in force to date with the total cost of $16,683,897.  That would make the average flood rate for West Virginia $1,104. Of course, some will pay more, and some will pay less.

Click here to have us shop and save you money.

Hello, West Virginia!  Thanks for visiting our page for all your flood insurance needs.

Let’s start off with Phillip and Braxton, West Virginia, where the total number of flood policies is 137 with $152,104 in premiums.  The average flood rate for these areas is $1,110.

Next up is Berkeley, West Virginia where the average flood rate is $962.  The policies in Berkeley number 175 with $168,432 in flood premiums.

Flooding Martinsburg, WV

Moving on to Boone, West Virginia, we find 286 flood policies in effect.  The premiums in Boone total $281,529 which allows the average flood rate to be $984.

Let’s look at Weirton and Milton, West Virginia.  These two areas have a combined premium total of $243,929.  The active policies number 155 which allows the average flood rate to be $1,574.

The average flood rate drops to $1,195 in Wellsburg, West Virginia.  There are 200 active flood policies with $239,044 in written premiums.

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Again, the flood rate drops to $840 when we look at Cabell, West Virginia.  The premiums in Cabell add up to $229,389 with 273 active flood policies.

Huntington, West Virginia has $21,931 in written premium.  The average flood rate in Huntington is $1,076 which includes 197 active flood policies.

We’ll look at a group of areas that include Calhoun, Doddridge, and Gilmer, West Virginia.  These areas have an average flood rate of $839.  The policies here total 177 with $148,541 in flood premiums.

165 flood policies are active in Clay, West Virginia.  Clay has an average flood rate of $749 which includes $123,636 in total premium.

The average flood rate drops to $592 in Fayette, West Virginia.  The premiums here total $94,721 with 160 flood policies in effect.

The next group includes Glenville, Grant, and Alderson, West Virginia, where the active flood policies total 197.  The premiums add up to be $291,232 which allows the average flood rate to be $1,478.

$238,190 in flood premiums exist in Greenbrier, West Virginia. The policies here number 305 which allows the average flood rate to be $781.

In Rainelle and Ronceverte, West Virginia, the average flood rate rises to $1,763.  The premiums add up to $149,884 with 85 active policies.  Give us a call to check your flood rates!

When we look at White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, we see that the average flood rate drops to $1,086.  The flood policies number 142 with $154,278 in written premiums.

 

177 flood policies are in effect in Hampshire, West Virginia.  Hampshire has $180,902 in flood premiums which allows the average flood rate to be $1,022.

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Let’s look at a group of areas that include Hancock, Bridgeport, and Clarksburg, West Virginia, where the average flood rate is $1,437.  The number of active flood policies is 202 with $290,248 in total premiums.

Our next group includes New Cumberland, Hardy, and Moorefield, West Virginia where the premiums add up to $169,972.  The policies here number 163 which allows the average flood rate to be $1,043.

$856 is the average flood rate for Harrison, West Virginia.  Harrison has 141 flood policies in effect with $120,705 in flood premiums.

The average flood rate rises to $1,221 in Jackson County, West Virginia.  In the Jackson, there are 133 active flood policies with $162,365 in written premiums.

Charles Town, WV flooding

In Jefferson County, West Virginia, the policies number 167 with $246,516 in flood premiums.  This causes the average flood rate to rise to $1,476.

Harpers Ferry, West Virginia

The average flood rate rises again to $1,843 in Charleston, West Virginia.  The premiums total $669,052 with 363 active flood policies.  Give us a call Charleston!

Better Flood Insurance is the best shopper for you.
Let us to the flood insurance shopping for you – Save time.

$225,765 is the premium total for Clendenin and South Charleston, West Virginia.  These two areas have 177 flood policies in effect which allows the average flood rate to be $1,276.

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There are 226 active flood policies in Dunbar, West Virginia.  The average flood rate in Dunbar is $1,193 which includes $269,535 in written premium.

Kanawha river flooding WV

Hello Kanawha County, West Virginia!  You all have the highest number of active flood policies in the state at 1,616!  The premiums here total $1,491,481 which allows the average flood rate to be $923.

Elkview, WV flooding

Let’s look at Nitro, West Virginia, where the average flood rate is $907.  Nitro has 129 flood policies in effect with $116,994 in total premiums.

Flooding in Weston, WV

Checking in on St. Albans, Lewis, and Weston, West Virginia, we find $235,211 in flood premiums.  These areas have 188 active flood policies which allows the average flood rate to be $1,251.

The average flood rate drops to $821 in Lincoln, West Virginia.  The premiums in Lincoln total $145,311 with 177 flood policies in effect.

Logan, West Virginia has 577 active flood policies with $544,975 in flood premiums.  The average flood rate in Logan is $944.

Next, we’ll look at Marion, West Virginia, where the average flood rate drops to $855.  The premiums here total $159,893 which include 187 flood policies in effect.

$680 is the average flood rate for Marshall, West Virginia.  There are 129 active flood policies with $87,674 in written premium.

In McDowell, West Virginia, there are 125 flood policies in effect with $88,629 in flood premiums.  The average flood rate in Mc Dowell is $709.

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The average flood rate jumps to $1,356 in Welch, West Virginia.  Welch has 101 active flood policies and $136,995 in flood premiums.

$1,111 in the average flood rate in Mercer, West Virginia.  Mercer has $218,897 in written premium with 197 flood policies in effect.

When we look at Keyser and Morgantown, West Virginia, we find a total of $228,371 in flood premiums.  The policies in these areas number 139 which allows the average flood rate to be $1,643.  Give us a call Keyser and Morgantown!  We’d love to check your rates.

In Mineral, West Virginia, there are 120 flood policies active with $127,098 in written premium.  The average flood rate in Mineral is $1,059.

The average flood rate drops to $545 in Mingo, West Virginia.  Mingo has $185,231 in premiums with 340 flood policies in effect.

$152,162 is the premium total in Morgan, West Virginia.  Morgan has an average flood rate of $1,247 which includes 122 active flood policies.

The total number of policies add up to 167 in Nicholas and Richwood, West Virginia.  The average flood rate is $1,137 which includes $189,956 in written premium.

Flooding Richwood, WV

Wheeling, West Virginia has $1,073,135 in flood premiums with 619 active flood policies.  The average flood rate in Wheeling is $1,734.

Flooding Wheeling, WV

Let’s look at Pendleton and Preston, West Virginia, where the average flood rate is $1,294.  The premiums total $190,153 with 147 flood policies in effect.

The average flood rate jumps to $1845 in Marlinton, West Virginia.  The policies number 163 with $300,660 in flood premiums.

147 flood policies are active in Pocahontas, West Virginia with $114,923 in written premium.  The average flood rate in Pocahontas is $782.

Putnam, West Virginia has 334 active flood policies.  The average flood rate is $784 which includes $261,764 in flood premiums.

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Harman, West Virginia flooding

Let’s look at another group of areas that include Winfield, Elkins, and Tucker, West Virginia, where the average flood rate is $2,430.  The premiums add up to $410,730 with 169 flood policies in effect.

There are 193 flood policies active in Raleigh, West Virginia.  The premiums here total $224,147 which allows the average flood rate to be $1,161.

The active flood policies number 166 in Randolph, West Virginia.  The premiums add up to $152,723 which causes the average flood rate to be $920.

The average flood rate drops to $565 in Roane, West Virginia.  Roane has $68,937 in premiums with 122 active flood policies.

Spencer WV flooding | Spencer West Virginia flood

$126,637 is the flood premium total in Summers, West Virginia.  Summers has 165 flood policies in effect which allows the average flood rate to be $767.

Parsons, West Virginia has an average flood rate of $2,517.  There are 107 flood policies active with $269,348 in written premium.

Flooding in Parkersburg, WV

The group up next includes Tyler, Upshur, and Parkersburg, West Virginia, where the flood premium adds up to $170,005.  The active policies total 170 which allows the average flood rate to be $1,000.

The average flood rate in Buckhannon, West Virginia is $978.  The premiums add up to $151,647 with 155 flood policies in effect.

190 flood policies are active in Wayne, West Virginia.  Wayne has an average flood rate of $990 which includes $188,017 in flood premiums.

The average flood rate drops to $637 in Webster, West Virginia.  Webster has 121 active flood policies with $77,061 in written premium.

When we look at New Martinsville, West Virginia, we see 119 flood policies in effect with $209,241 in flood premiums.  New Martinsville’s average flood rate is $1,758.  Give us a call!  We’d love to check your flood rates!

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Wetzel, West Virginia has an average flood rate of $860.  Wetzel has 127 active flood policies with $109,172 in total premium.

In Vienna, West Virginia, there are 106 flood policies in effect.  Vienna has $99,001 in flood premiums which allows the average flood rate to be $934.

$1,082 is the average flood rate for Wood, West Virginia.  The premiums in Wood add up to $327,904 which includes 303 active flood policies.

Looking at Mullens and Oceana, West Virginia, we find 117 flood policies in effect with $132,582 in total premium.  The average flood rate for these areas is $1,133.

Finally, we’ll look at Wyoming, West Virginia, where there are 304 active flood polices.  The average flood rate in Wyoming is $798 which includes $242,688 in flood premium.

Thanks for checking out all the flood information on West Virginia!!

West Virginia flood insurance cost calculator

For decades, the NFIP has over-charged 50 percent of its policyholders and under-charged the other 50 percent, while it has racked up $42 billion in taxpayer-funded losses, equating to more than half of every claim paid by the NFIP since 1978.

About 30 percent of NFIP claims payments go to the same 3 percent of insured “repetitive loss” structures year after year. When you do the math, this means that the other 97 percent of their flood-exposed constituents could have paid in less and still netted larger claims payouts if they had better access to private flood insurance. In fact, a recent white paper by Milliman found that 90 percent of homes in Sandy-struck West Virginia and New Jersey would see reduced flood insurance rates through private insurers.

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References
the following documents contain additional hydrologic data, flood photos, historic flood descriptions, floodplain delineations and other pertinent information, and should be considered supplemental to this flood warning plan:
https://bsa.nfipstat.fema.gov/reports/1011.htm#COT
https://www.fema.gov/average-claim-payments-date-loss
https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program
https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1486576697135-ac6348fb2a3d98ceba33cf3f38422dbc/Claim_Loss_Counts_Sept2016.pdf
https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1458666638945-d752cb148ef1348b4b1c22acec66a0bd/Claim_loss_count2015.pdf
https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1393877884619-3091f75bf9d46a26f5beb7d423c34529/Total_Claim_Count_fy2013.pdf
https://www.weather.gov/safety/flood-states-wv

 

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