Many residents in Knoxville are without flood insurance

Despite flooding conditions, many residents in Knoxville are without flood insurance

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On Tuesday, Taylor had a rude awakening, his basement was covered with up to a foot of water. On Tuesday, Taylor had a rude awakening, his basement was covered with up to a foot of water.
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By MIKE KRAFCIK
6 News Reporter

KNOXVILLE (WATE) - Weather like we've been having is a reminder why flood insurance can come in handy. 

Floods have caused nearly $24 billion in U.S. flood losses in the last 10 years. There is a 26 percent chance of experiencing a flood during the life of a 30-year mortgage in high-risk areas, according to FEMA.

Residents who live near First Creek in North Knoxville are no stranger to flood damage but some residents there we spoke to say they still don't have flood insurance.

The experts say it's important to have since high-risk areas like around First Creek are so much more vulnerable to flood damage.  

Carroll Taylor's backyard sits right next to First Creek in North Knoxville. On Tuesday, he had a rude awakening, his basement was covered with up to a foot of water.  

"Every time it rains, I have to get down here and pump this out," Taylor said.  

TIS Insurance Inc. claims manager Howard Moody says East Tennessee is a particularly low-risk area for flooding, but he says need for flood insurance is still necessary.

"You are at risk anytime. You don't have to be in a high-risk zone to have the exposure," Moody said.  

Moody said anytime there's surface water like there is today, flooding situations are likely to occur. The First Creek area is considered Zone AE, according to national floodplain standards.

Any property located in Zone beginning with an "A" is considered to be most vulnerable. These properties have a 1 percent chance of flooding in any year and a 26 percent chance of flooding over the life of a 30-year mortgage, according to FEMA.

Flood insurance is the most costly in these zones, a policy could cost around $1,500 each year.    "When you get to that level, you're talking about a significant, additional expense from an insurance standpoint," Moody said.  

This is the reason why Carroll Taylor says he doesn't carry flood insurance.  

"It costs so much you can't afford it," Taylor said.  

No matter the cost, other neighbors say this recent stint of rain is making them think twice about having flood insurance.  

"I got a letter from the county that asked me to check into flood insurance and said I lived in a flood prone area. I did not get flood insurance, and I probably ought to go through it, but hadn't done it yet," said North Knoxville resident Peter Pallesen.    

One thing to remember, most home owner policies don't include flood insurance.  

They have to be purchased separately, and it takes 30 days after purchase for a policy to take effect.    

"Common knowledge is my homeowner's policy is meant to cover anything, it simply doesn't do that. There are two exclusions in a home owners policy, for earthquakes and a flood," Moody said.

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