Rain has not fallen in Lubbock in over 40 days. But in recent weeks calls have poured into the City of Lubbock from homeowners who have learned they reside in a flood plain.
Updated flood maps were released in September 2007, but there were no changes in the City of Lubbock from the last time the maps were updated in September 2002. So why are some homeowners all of a sudden being forced to buy flood insurance?
Homeowners affected have all received letters from their respective lender that state they are in a flood plain and must now purchase flood insurance. City officials say nothing has changed, it was simply an oversight on the lenders part and it's the homeowners who now have to pay.
If the flood that occurred in Lubbock in 1999 were to happen again, one group of realtors and insurance agents want to make sure their clients are protected.
"Most home buyers are not going to know where to look. They are going to need a professional who knows what they're talking about, what's going on and to find those answers," says Lloyd Headrick, a realtor.
Out of the more than 6,700 Lubbock properties in a flood zone, three-quarters currently do not have any type of flood insurance.
"Most people who are out there in harm's way are not carrying flood insurance," says Skipper Wood, with the City of Lubbock.
Some of those homeowners are now receiving letters from their lender informing them they must purchase flood insurance - something that doesn't necessarily come cheap.
"If you look at all the policies in town by all the premiums they're paying, the average rate in Lubbock is about $600 but that's all different policies and different situations," says Wood.
But there are some extreme cases.
"I had a client whose insurance premium jumped from about $590 to almost $2,100," says Headrick.
Wood recommends homeowners take the initiative and learn whether or not their property lies in a flood plain. If they do not Wood says they could eventually find themselves drowning in a situation similar to the flood of ‘99.
"If they do not have flood insurance, their homeowners does not cover it. Their homeowners policy does not cover content," says Wood.
Now some homeowners have received a letter from their lender telling them they are out of the flood plain. In this case the homeowner is owed some money and should check with their insurance agent.
If you would like to learn if your home is in a flood plain, you can call Skipper Wood at 775-2331 or (click here) for a web site that shows the various flood zones.
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