There’s a unique calming effect on a gently flowing stream. It’s quite a visual and anyone can imagine enjoying a summer time picnic on a blanket, underneath a tree while the brook brambles by. Now visualize a storm cloud, then some sprinkles, then a flood insurancehard, driving rain for hours on end.

Suddenly that pleasant little brook turns into a raging river and water rampages way past the flood line. Downstream, homes see the creeping water and ultimately flood basements, living rooms and wash away structures. Floods are a powerful, dangerous event. Are you covered?

Every property owner knows the importance of having adequate insurance to protect their home from fire, hail and wind with basic hazard insurance. Yet floods from rising waters aren’t covered under standard policies. Only flood insurance covers floods. And a home doesn’t have to be right next to a river in order to be susceptible to flooding.

When buyers finance a property, one of the first duties a lender performs is researching the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) flood database. FEMA routinely updates America’s terrain and estimates the likelihood of a flood based upon a 10, 50 or 100 year occurrence. Lenders tap into the database and if the property is identified as being in a flood zone, the lender will order an elevation certificate and a survey which will indicate where the flood line exists on the property.

Many times a property can be in a flood zone but flood insurance isn’t required. A survey will show the lot and the permanent structures on the lot, including the home. If a flood line is indicated on the survey but the structure is not located within the flood zone, the lender may waive the flood insurance requirement.

Flood insurance can be expensive and if an offer is made on a property that is later determined to be in a flood zone, unless the seller can accommodate the additional costs of flood insurance, the deal could be dead if the buyer refuses to purchase the additional coverage.