In the wake of two major hurricanes that recently hit the U.S., many homeowners are thinking about flood insurance. Unfortunately, many do not realize that most homeowners and apartment policies do not cover flood damage.
Floods are the nation’s most common and costly natural disaster and cause millions of dollars in damage every year, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Storms are not the only cause of flooding. Overflows from oceans and rivers, snowmelt, a dam or levee breach and impacts to groundwater tables from new developments can result in flood damage.
Everyone is at Risk
You don’t have to live on the coast or in a high-risk area to be in danger of a flood damaging your property. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) reports that about 20% of flood insurance claims occur outside of flood zones. Many are caught off guard from the financial and emotional impacts of floods.
Flood vs. Water Damage
There is a difference between flood damage and water damage.
Flood – Insurance companies classify a flood as a sudden rise of water on land that is normally dry. This can be from rising rivers, lakes, streams or oceans. Also, a flood can be from a mudslide or heavy rain seeping into the basement of a home. These causes are typically not covered by homeowner’s insurance.
Water damage – This is generally from a burst water pipe in your home or rainwater or an ice dam leaking through a roof. Homeowner’s insurance would cover these damages.
Where Do I Get Flood Insurance?
Flood insurance is offered through NFIP as well as private carriers. A broker can determine what carrier you would be eligible for. Contrary to believe, it is affordable – most policies cost as little as $200 depending on your circumstances.
If you live in a flood plain and have a mortgage through a lender, you would be required to buy flood insurance. Even if you don’t have a mortgage and live in high risk area, having flood insurance can mean the difference between having the funds to rebuild or being financially devastated.
Please call me, Lois Drukman, at Walter May Insurance, 781-740-5421, for more information about flood insurance.