Carteret County prepares for new flood maps coming in June; Insurance rates could change

EMERALD ISLE, N.C. (WNCT) – People in Carteret County will still have to wait and see if their home insurance rates will change. This comes after the county met to talk about draft flood maps.

“It’s all new for everybody, real estate agents, insurance agents, the counties, the town themselves,” said insurance agent Sam O’Berry.

Carteret County is preparing for new maps coming out in June that could lead to homeowners seeing some changes.

Last week, the county got a preview. The maps discussed highlighted areas that would be in new, designated flood zones.

Homes and buildings in Emerald Isle, Indian Beach, Pine Knoll Shores and Atlantic Beach will be moved into a lower-risk flood zone. Beaufort is the only area that is expected to see an increase in the more severe flooding classification.

“Some people are just not aware of the flood zones at all, so as realtors, we have to educate the people and make sure they are aware of this,” said Cathy Sheaffer, broker-in-charge at Bluewater Realty.

When the maps come out, local insurance agents said to take a look. Anyone can find out exactly where their house is located and how it could affect your insurance rates.

“I would start now that way it won’t be a surprise in 2018,” said O’Berry.

A spokesman for the county planning department said the process will take two years before the new flood maps are finalized.

Both realtors and insurance agents agree that knowledge is key when it comes to this issue.

“Everybody just do your homework; contact your local officials and your insurance agent,” said O’Berry.

“I think the most important thing is to make sure that all of our clients are aware and all the people who live here are aware of the new changes that are coming up,” said Sheaffer.

The state insurance department released some tips about the national flood insurance program.

The department said it’s a good idea to buy flood insurance even in low-risk areas. That’s due to at least 20-percent of claims come from there.

You can also buy coverage for your business up to $500,000.

Keep in mind, there is using a waiting period before any coverage goes into effect.

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