Wildfires in Maryland have the ability to greatly increase flood risks. In areas that have been damaged or destroyed by wildfires it can become quite difficult for the ground to absorb water. This type of scenario can make those affected areas highly susceptible to mudflows, flooding, and landslides according to floodsmart.gov.
Most homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage.
If you live in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) or high-risk area and have a Federally backed mortgage, your mortgage lender requires you to have flood insurance. (To find your flood risk, fill out the Flood Risk Profile to the left.)
Maryland's rainy season is typically between the months of October through March. During, but not limited to these times, the risk of flooding and mudflows can increase significantly.
Flash floods often bring walls of water 10 to 20 feet high.
A mudflow is covered by your flood insurance policy, whereas mudslides are not. According to floodsmart.gov, a mudflow is considered a flooding condition in which a river of liquid and flowing mud flows over a usually dry land area.
Hurricanes, winter storms and snowmelt are common (but often overlooked) causes of flooding.
New land development can increase flood risk, especially if the construction changes natural runoff paths.
Federal disaster assistance is usually a loan that must be paid back with interest. For a $50,000 loan at 4% interest, your monthly payment would be around $240 a month ($2,880 a year) for 30 years. Compare that to a $100,000 flood insurance premium, which is about $400 a year ($33 a month).
If you live in a low-to-moderate risk area and are eligible for the Preferred Risk Policy, your flood insurance premium may be as low as $119 a year, including coverage for your propertyís contents.
You are eligible to purchase flood insurance as long as your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program. Check the Community Status Book to see if your community is already an NFIP partner.
In many cases, it takes 30 days after the purchase for a policy to take effect, so itís important to buy insurance before floodwaters start to rise.
Your home has a 26% chance of being damaged by a flood during the course of a 30-year mortgage, compared to a 9% chance of fire.
Last year, one-third of all claims paid by the NFIP were for policies in low-risk communities.
The average annual U.S. flood losses in the past 10 years (1994-2004) were more than $2.4 billion.
When your community participates in the Community Rating System (CRS), you can qualify for an insurance premium discount of up to 45%. Read more about CRS Ratings.
As of February, 2012 Maryland had a total of more than $496,195,500 in payments for flood losses according to current NFIP statistics.
Since 1978, the NFIP has paid $31.4 billion for flood insurance claims and related costs (as of 3/31/06).
Over 5 million people currently hold flood insurance policies in more than 20,200 communities across the U.S.