Rock Talk

Homeowners Insurance Does Not Cover Flooding

Last updated on August 20, 2019 at 03:09 pm

Hurricane Sandy affected 24 states, including the entire eastern seaboard, and claimed at least 147 lives. It caused an estimated $70.2 billion in damages, making it the second costliest storm in US history, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, many New Jersey residents were surprised to learn that their homeowners insurance policies would not cover damage caused by flooding. The Star Ledger published a related article, which stressed: “It should be one of the big lessons of Hurricane Sandy: Know what your insurance policy covers – and what it does not.”

Nearly seven years later, the question remains: Do you need flood insurance? According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) nearly 20% of flood insurance claims come from outside of high-risk areas. It doesn’t take a major body of water or a significant storm to cause flooding. A flood can occur as a result of a slow-moving rainstorm, snow melt, land development runoff, and more.

A common argument against flood insurance is that federal disaster assistance will be available when flooding occurs. This is not always the case, and when it is, federal disaster assistance may still cost more than flood insurance. Federal disaster assistance is only offered when a disaster is federally declared, and it usually comes in the form of a loan with interest.

If you’re interested in protecting your home with flood insurance, find a local agent who can help you purchase a policy through the National Flood Insurance Program. An agent can help you fully understand your coverage options and can continue to advise you as your family’s needs change.

The best time to buy flood insurance is now. Policies do not take effect until 30 days after purchase. Who knew Sandy was headed our way 30 days prior to landfall?

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