Assessing Home-Buying Risk in a Hurricane Zone

The 2020 hurricane season is underway, as is the home-buying season. While the coronavirus put a damper on the market, signs indicate that sales are beginning to pick up again. The predicted active hurricane season brings the potential for raised concerns about risk for buyers along the Gulf and Atlantic coasts. Clients considering buying a new home within the hurricane zone need to be advised and assess risk in hurricane-prone areas.

Assess Home Location

Homebuyers might not be fully aware of how important a home’s location is in determining the potential for hurricane damage. Homes situated within close proximity to the coast are certainly vulnerable if a storm strikes the area. However, clients might not know that there are other regions with risks just as high as those along the coast.

Evacuation Zone vs Flood Zone

Providing your clients with information on evacuation zones and FEMA flood zones can help them better understand how their new home’s hazard area might impact their premiums. It can be easy to overlook the potential for flooding along a river five miles inland or a low elevation area likely to be impacted by storm surge. Be sure your clients understand that their insurance rates are based on flood zone ratings.

Flood Zone Ratings

One of the most confusing aspects of determining hurricane risk for homebuyers is the flood zone rating. A homebuyer who discovers that the home he or she is interested in buying flooded 30 years ago might feel safe from another flood because the house is located in an X100 zone. It is imperative that they understand the statistical meaning behind the zone rating system, especially given the increasing likelihood of stronger hurricanes and very active hurricane seasons.

Assess House Conditions

Anyone interested in buying a home in a hurricane-prone region should be aware that the house’s condition has an impact on how well the structure might hold up in a storm. The home buyer needs to investigate the following for any house within a hurricane zone:

  • Age of the house and whether repairs are needed to reinforce stabilization in a hurricane
  • Whether the roof is in good condition
  • Whether hurricane-proof windows and doors are installed
  • Elevation of home and whether an Elevation Certificate is required for insurance purposes
  • Proximity to flood threats such as dams and levees

About AmSuisse

Formed in 2013, AmSuisse, Inc. has quickly distinguished itself as a wholesale operation that specializes in working very closely with our agents and broker partners to develop responsive, individualized service for each client. Our unparalleled writing support, industry-specific expertise, marketing support, responsive proposals and quotes, strong customer service, and strong relationships with our carrier partners have all helped us to provide the best possible coverage for our clients. To learn more about our available coverage, contact us today at (855) 912-8697 to speak with one of our representatives.