Every homeowner needs to be aware of the risks associated with flooding. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), flooding is the most frequent and costliest severe weather threat in America. FEMA reports that 90 percent of all natural disasters in the U.S. involve flooding. What's more, nearly one-quarter of flood damage occurs in regions designated as low- or moderate-risk areas.
To make matters worse, the Associated Press reported in January that over 300 levees covering more than 2,000 miles are in urgent need of repair, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. The Corps is continually conducting risk assessments of levees under its jurisdiction. While the number of people and property that could be endangered by a breach cannot be pinpointed, this latest news presents an added level of risk.
What's your flood risk?
While floods can and do occur in areas that may not be designated as high-risk, you should take the time to find out how vulnerable you and your property are. Nearly 20% of flood insurance claims come from moderate-to-low risk areas. Even a small amount of flood water can result in severe property damage. Talk to your HUB broker to determine your flood risk.
The FloodSmart Levee Simulator shows different ways a levee can fail. It covers every type of levee failure and reminds everyone that simply living near a levee doesn't guarantee your safety.
Are you properly covered?
Typically, flood damage resulting from surface water, including surges caused by storms, is not covered in standard homeowner and renter insurance policies.
Flood insurance is available to homeowners, renters and business owners through the National Flood Insurance Program and can cover up to $250,000 for the structure of your home, as well as $100,000 for the contents of your home. Your HUB broker can review flood maps for your area and recommend coverage that can protect you from this potentially devastating loss.
Sandy's impact on the Northeast
Flood maps for coastal Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut are being revised with rollout anticipated through August 2013.
What does this mean for current policyholders? At this time, the only way to determine if you will potentially be adversely impacted by these changes is to review your renewal with your HUB broker and use the zip code locator to see if the specific property has been rezoned and whether the structure is properly elevated.
HUB strongly recommends calling your broker or the HUB Northeast Flood Hotline at 1.866.HUB.FLOOD to review your current situation and the potential impacts of the rezoning. Careful consideration must be used to determine the required actions, including the possibility of elevating your home.
Being caught unprepared can be financially devastating, so be sure to talk to your HUB broker about flood insurance.