Monday, May 6, 2013
With the June 1 start of the 2013 Atlantic hurricane seasonÂ just one month away the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.)Â is urgingÂ people to prepare for heightened flood risks that come with hurricanes and tropical storms.
The I.I.I. notes that the most recent two hurricane seasons have shown how devastating the consequences of seasonal flooding can be, with losses felt well beyond the high risk areas nearest the water:
While coastal states have an increased risk of flooding during hurricane season, it is important to note that flood risks extend far beyond those areas. Some of the most severe flooding has occurred when the remnants of a hurricane or tropical storm system traveled inland, such as Hurricane Irene two years ago, producing heavy rainfall hundreds of miles from the coast. For this reason, it is important to have coverage no matter where you live.â€
Flood damage is excluded under standard homeowners and renters insurance policies. Residential flood insurance is available in the form of a separate policy primarily from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
A 2012 poll by theÂ I.I.I. found that 13 percent of American homeowners had a flood insurance policy, virtually unchanged from the 14 percent of homeowners in 2011, but well below the 17 percent who said they purchased flood insurance in May 2008.
Many homes that sustained flood damage from Superstorm Sandy did not have flood insurance, according to joint research by the Wharton Risk Center and Resources for the Future.
For example, along the entire New York coast, take up rates were lower than 30 percent in most ZIP codes. Take-up rates along the New Jersey coast were apparently higher than New York, particularly in Manhattan.
Check out I.I.I. information on flood insurance here.