MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Flood insurance isn't always something homeowners in the Mid-South consider, but The Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance is using the ninth anniversary of the Nashville flood that killed 20 people and caused billions of dollars in damages to raise awareness about the devastation that can follow without it.
Farmers insurance agency owner Jamel Thomas wants homeowners to keep in mind that flood insurance doesn't just cover the rain falling from the sky or a river overflowing in your home. It protects homeowners from however water ends up in their space.
"All a flood is in the insurance definition is rising water, that's all a flood is."
Dravonne Jones is in the business of selling homes. For her it's about letting a buyer know exactly what their options are when it comes to insurance and debunking any myths they may already have in mind.
"I like to hold my buyers hands step by step though the process to make sure they are completely educated. A lot of people confuse homeowners insurance with flood insurance. They just think, 'My home is covered. It covers everything.' Flood insurance is a completely different entity," she said.
Of course it's always up to the buyer, Jones' job is to make sure they understand.
"I like to help my clients read between the lines, and I like to answer questions they don't know to ask."
She says she doesn't sugar coat anything.
"They think they can prepare like, 'Oh. A flood is coming next week. Let me get flood insurance.' There's actually typically a 30-day waiting period before the policy takes effect."
Both Thomas and Jones say while homeowners may never find themselves facing a flood, it could happen. And it's better to know the option is available.
According to FEMA, just over one percent of Tennessee residents have flood insurance policies.