It seems like we just made it through “flood season”, and yet, here it is, creeping up on us again! Although there are certainly times in the year where flood is more prevalent, the reality is that there is no true “flood season”. If it rains, it can flood. Flooding can happen anywhere and at any time. In fact, according to the Insurance Information Institute, of all the natural disasters that the U.S. faces, 90% of them involve some type of flooding. Flooding is too important to not talk about! Most people think of flooding as an overflow of inland or tidal waters or a backup of storm drainage systems. While this is correct, flooding also occurs from over saturation of the ground after excessive rain buildup.
Did you know that approximately 25% of all flood claims come from people who “don’t live in a flood zone”? That’s right, the “no flood zone” properties are actually in a low to moderate flood zone, but are still very susceptible to flood damage. At a time when the value of every purchase is being weighed, it’s important to recognize the financial security a flood insurance policy provides.
Homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage. If you have a mortgage, your lender will require you to secure flood insurance only if your home is in a Special Flood Hazard Area, as determined by FEMA. Again, 25% of all flood claims come from NON-Special Flood Hazard Areas. Flood waters do not recognize or stop at a line on a flood map
Up until recently, the National Flood Insurance Program was the primary source for purchasing flood insurance. With the help of technology, private companies have been able to get a better handle on the risks and costs of flooding, so there are now several options outside of the NFIP.
Private companies have made the process easy. For example, oftentimes, there is no need for an Elevation Certificate. There is also not the typical 30 day waiting period that exists with securing NFIP coverage. In addition, most mortgage companies have gotten over the hurdle of accepting coverage outside of the NFIP. And, the best part - you may be able to buy flood insurance for less than you think! Private market coverage is often less expensive and much broader than the NFIP.
Aside from the NFIP and Private Market options, more and more property insurance companies are creating the option to add “Flood” as an endorsement on your existing homeowner policy. This can be a good option for the right property for several reasons.
It eliminates a policy.
The coverage is generally much broader.
In the event of a catastrophic event that involves both wind and flood damage, for example, Hurricane Irma or Michael, you would be dealing with only 1 insurance company and 1 adjuster. This could simplify the process considerably.
While no one option is best for every property, it’s important to understand the flood insurance world is changing and there are options that did not exist in the past. Regardless of what your flood zone is, flood insurance should be a consideration when evaluating the protection on your home.
Our team is here to help! Call us today to discuss options. Stay dry out there! And if you can’t stay dry, be covered and protected!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kristie Pauly is the Vice President of Personal Lines at Bouchard Insurance. Kristie's team focuses on protecting individual's assets through all lines of personal insurance. | Connect on LinkedIn