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Blog: The unseen value of flood insurance

By April 15, 2019 July 24th, 2019 Blog

This article is from Sterling’s Fall 2018 issue of its Risk & Business Magazine. Want a copy? Email jdalgleish@sterlingagency.com. Please enjoy and share.

Is it worth it?

Hurricane Michael cut a swathe of destruction along the southeast recently. A Category 4, (130 to 156 MPH wind speeds), Hurricane Michael brought its full weight to bear on the panhandle of Florida. Hundreds of homes and businesses had property damage, many people were injured, and some lost their lives. Where did most of the damage come from? The wind? In many cases, the damage actually came from flooding. In fact, almost all of the lives lost in the storm were flood related as well.

Regardless of where you may be in relation to the southeast, storms and the destruction they can bring are tough to escape. Even worse, none of us can escape the risk of flooding. It seems like recent years have brought more and more flooding, be it from a large storm or from an overwhelming amount of snow melt. The causes behind that increase in flooding are up for debate. It is, however, our job to cope with the increase in risk that is coming right along with it. Flooding being our main cause for concern due to the number of torrential rainstorms significantly increasing over the years.

Most insurance policies are going to exclude flooding unless otherwise specified or specifically designed to deal with flood damage.  Most flood exclusions include the following definition for flooding: “Whether natural or man-made … Flood, surface water, waves (including tidal waves and tsunamis), tides, tidal water, overflow of any body of water, or spray from any of these, all whether driven by wind, (including storm surge), or not.” This exclusion leaves very little doubt as to whether or not you will be covered if a flood hits and you are relying on a standard homeowner’s policy for coverage.

What to consider

Unfortunately most individuals and businesses neglect to purchase Flood insurance unless required by their lender.  This is shortsighted.  We have all seen photos of a towns underwater with boats replacing cars for transportation.  It does not have to be a hurricane to overwhelm a drainage system and, even worse, it is happening everywhere, often with heavy deluges overwhelming the existing infrastructure.

Flood insurance costs can dramatically vary depending on your location, what is being covered, and the general flood history of the area you are in. With that being said, it is always better to be safe than sorry, so why not reach out an insurance professional to help guide you through the process and answer any questions you may have?

Sterling can help. Contact us about this specialty industry of Sterling’s.