Floods are the most common natural disaster in the nation, but many people don’t think twice about them because they believe they aren’t at risk. The problem is that no one knows when a flood could affect them.
One only has to look back to 2010 to see how quickly floods can sneak up on us here in Rhode Island. A series of moderate rainfalls over 5 weeks, followed by heavy rain caused record flooding.
The event showed that flooding can happen anywhere, but many people do not know that you do not need to live in a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) regulated flood plain to buy flood insurance.
Why would you want to do that? Let’s look at the most important reasons.
Floods Occur Outside of High Risk Areas Frequently
Approximately 25% of all flood claims occur outside of high risk flood plain areas. Low to medium risk homes are susceptible too, and floods can occur in any state at any time.
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) states the average homeowner with a 30-year mortgage is almost three times more likely to submit a claim for flood damage (26%) compared to fire (9%).
Not Included In Standard Homeowner’s Policy
Remember, your homeowner’s insurance policy typically only covers water damage from things such as a burst pipe, water hoses in your home letting go, or a punctured roof damaged in a storm letting water in. However, damage to your home caused by flooding of ground water (which may be caused by torrential rain, swollen storm drains, or overflowing rivers) is not covered by a standard homeowners policy.
Insufficient NFIP Coverage
The National Flood Insurance Program’s maximum coverage is $250,000 for a home and $100,000 for its contents. For many homeowners, this is far too low. Discuss your needs with your insurance agent and they can explain your options. Flood insurance is reasonably-priced, but you need to buy before a flood. It often takes 30 days to activate your coverage, unless the policy is purchased in conjunction with the closing of a mortgage, but it could save you thousands if you experience a catastrophic loss.
Compliance With Regulations
If you have flood insurance policies, they help you pay for any mandated home improvements required due to regulations. An example might be the need to raise your house by 2 feet to avoid future flooding. Policies usually cover up to $30,000 for renovations to comply with regulations.
Flood insurance provides the financial means to recover from a flood. Parts of Rhode Island (Warwick, Jamestown, Narragansett and Newport come to mind) are considered high-risk areas. But even if you don’t live in a high-risk area (Cumberland, Lincoln, Smithfield, North Providence), you should still give us a call to discuss your needs. A quick call to (401) 723-8510 could protect you from spring time (or anytime, really) flooding and save you considerable grief and money.