As we look around the US after these recent storms and hurricanes, you cannot help but notice all the fallen debris, damage, and water. Seemingly innocent water is what in fact does the most damage. Water not only floods areas but the sheer force of it can blow through walls of a home, break in glass, and ruin electrical grids. In fact, water is arguably the single biggest enemy in a big storm.
Flooding is nature’s most common natural disaster. The average homeowner is five times more likely to incur flood damage than fire damage. If you live in a high-risk zone, you have a one-in-four chance of experiencing flood damage. Almost 25% of all flood claims come from low- to moderate-risk areas and 90% of all presidential-declared disasters involved flooding. Homeowner’s policies may not cover the flood damage, and the out-of-pocket costs can be burdensome.
By definition, flooding is the abundance of liquid in a given area that envelops everything around it. Obviously, flooding is not a good thing. Flooding ruins pretty much everything it encounters like nature, construction materials, finished goods, etc. Sometimes though, flooding cannot be avoided (like after a hurricane) so knowing what you can do to protect yourself is all you can do.
Homeowner’s policies do not include flooding in their clauses or definitions. Flooding is covered by a separate policy, usually done through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This is a program that was set up by Congress to help mitigate losses during/after a flood. Most all homeowners have access to these coverages if they simply go to www.fema.gov.
The coverages under a single-family dwelling under the emergency program can pay out to a maximum of $35,000 and $10,000 in contents. However, under a regular program, you have options all the way to $250,000 and $100,000 respectively. If you are in an active ‘flood zone’, chances are you are forced to purchase a regular program for your home. In the event of a loss though, there is a 60 day limit to file a claim so don’t delay.
If you have questions about flood insurance or about navigating how to purchase it for your home, please call one of our insurance advisors at (989) 791-5400.