The truth about flood insurance in Pa., N.J. and Del.

Myth No. 2: If I live outside the FEMA flood zone, I can’t get flood insurance

Truth: Officials say you can and should consider flood insurance even outside the high-risk zone

Another misconception insurance officials hear from residents is that people living outside FEMA’s Special Flood Hazard Area cannot buy flood insurance.

“But that’s not correct,” Zimmerman said. “Individuals across New Jersey can purchase flood insurance. They do not have to be in a designated area.”

Homes inside FEMA’s Special Flood Hazard Area, or the high-risk area where floodplain management regulations must be enforced, are required to carry flood insurance when they have a government-backed mortgage. But there’s nothing stopping a homeowner without a mortgage or whose home is located outside of this high-risk zone from purchasing flood insurance.

In fact, insurance officials say you should consider buying flood insurance even if you live outside the Special Flood Hazard Area. They say it’s often cheaper outside that zone.

“Every Delawareean should at least inquire about it,” Navarro said. “If you don’t live in an area that has a flood history, it’s relatively inexpensive.”

Navarro said he’s been seeing flood damage in parts of Delaware that did not used to flood.

“Places in Wilmington, places … in the City of New Castle and also, believe it or not, on Main Street in Newark,” Navarro said. “It’s happening all up and down the state.”

It can flood anywhere in Pennsylvania, too, Humphreys said.

“Where it rains, it can flood,” he said. “Just one inch of flood in your house can cause upwards of $25,000 in damage.”

Around 40% of claims through the National Flood Insurance Program come from outside the Special Flood Hazard Area, according to FEMA.

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