Ask Amy: What to consider about private flood insurance options + Should renters buy flood insurance?

Just a few days before the official start of hurricane season I’m sharing what you should know about flood insurance. I did a lot of research on this for a story about FEMA flood insurance rates going up. Should you shop around? What about flood insurance for renters? Keep reading for answers.

(Copyright 2023 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

Since FEMA flood insurance rates are going up, should you shop around for private insurance options?

FEMA changed the way it calculates flood insurance coverage meaning some people could pay hundreds of dollars more for coverage. We warned you about this last week. FEMA is equalizing costs to spread it around to everyone meaning someone living in an area that never floods could pay more for insurance than someone who lives in an area at higher risk of flooding.

I talked with Leash Yu from “Agency Yu” about what to consider if you decide to ditch FEMA and shop around for private flood insurance. (See the full Ask Amy episode here.)

(Copyright 2023 by KPRC Click2Houston - All rights reserved.)

“FEMA is not going to go out of business. So, if a hurricane comes and wipes out the entire city of Houston you have a FEMA flood policy I think you will eventually get paid but if the same thing happens and you are with a private carrier and they are not well capitalized they could go out of business,” said Yu. “I don’t think they will go out of business because they are very well capitalized, but it’s something the consumer should definitely think about.”

He’s talking about if there is a catastrophic flood event as we’ve seen with Hurricanes Katrina and Harvey.

You won’t see the rate increase all at once. FEMA will raise your premium by 18% every year as long as there is no disruption to your policy until you finally reach the new $2,000 rate. So don’t let your policy lapse because if you do you will have to start at the new higher rate instead of gradually getting there.

[This short video explains all of the changes.]

What about flood insurance for renters?

Should renters worry about flood insurance? It would be best if you asked but it’s likely your landlord has flood insurance that covers the building but not your contents. You can buy content-only flood insurance. FEMA says it starts at $99 a year for 100,000 of coverage.

You can catch the entire Ask Amy Episode with more details about these new flood insurance rates.

Do you have a question for me? Email and I’ll work to find you an answer.

About the Authors:

Passionate consumer advocate, mom of 3, addicted to coffee, hairspray and pastries.

Award-winning TV producer and content creator. My goal as a journalist is to help people. Faith and family motivate me. Running keeps me sane.