Many people in flood zones still don't have flood insurance - 8 News NOW

Many people in flood zones still don't have flood insurance

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Desert Rose Golf Course/Sept. 2012 Desert Rose Golf Course/Sept. 2012

LAS VEGAS -- From the northwest to Henderson, neighborhoods across southern Nevada have seen flooding over the past week, and monsoon season has barely begun.

Experts say the best way to protect yourself and your property from the financial tolls of flood waters is to get your flood insurance.

Two years ago after a big flood at the Desert Rose Golf Course, FEMA came in and designated 1,700 homes and businesses in this area as being in a federal flood zone, which meant people living in the area had to get flood insurance.

However, 8 News NOW has learned that a lot of people in the community still aren't covered, and they could be putting themselves in a financial risk when the next big storm rolls around.

Conrad Gardner lives right behind the Desert Rose Golf Course and in the summer of 2012, flash floods resulted in many of the homes in his neighborhood going underwater.

"The water came in the patio and kitchen doors," Gardner said, "Some homes had two to four feet of water."

8 News NOW was there two years ago to capture the damage in many of these homes along Walton Heath Avenue.

Gardner says many of his neighbors packed up and left their properties behind.

"It was just that bad. They had a lot of flood damage and no flood insurance," Gardner said.

Gregory Moore with State Farm Insurance says most southern Nevadans don't have flood insurance; in fact, he says he is lucky if he gets 20 customers a year coming into his office asking for it.

"There's no help or protection for you if something is going to happen," Moore said.

He says cost is what is holding back most people.

"A lot of times that minimum policy premium is $414 dollars a year for those homeowners. If you are in a flood zone, that could be $700, $800 to $1,000 year," Moore said.

Gardner says when he bought his home 20 years ago, he wasn't required to get flood insurance; so he didn't get a policy and he still doesn't have one.

"It's really scary. You don't know what to make of it," Gardner said.

Gardner says he and his wife may decide to sell the house. If he doesn't, he will get coverage but he may have to act soon.

Even if you buy flood insurance today, the policy won't kick in until 30 days from now.

Flood insurance is available to both renters and homeowners.

To find out if your home or apartment is in a flood zone or where to find flood insurance agents, go to the Regional Flood Control District website.

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