On late Friday, August 25, 2017, category 4 Hurricane Harvey made landfall in Texas. It’s safe to say, since that evening the clear majority of people across the country have continued to closely follow the news bulletins. Particularly if their friends and family were impacted directly by the hurricane and subsequent flood damage as Harvey stalled and became an historic tropical storm. Now many are trying to answer the question: “Do you have flood insurance coverage?”
According to the Insurance Information Institute (III) 2016 survey: “12 percent of American homeowners had a flood insurance policy. The percentage of homeowners with flood insurance was highest in the South, at 14 percent. Thirteen percent of homeowners in the Northeast had a flood insurance policy, 10 percent of homeowners in the West had a flood insurance policy, while 8 percent of homeowners in the Midwest had flood insurance.” So, on average for 89% of homeowners and renters, “No” is the answer to our question “Do you have flood insurance coverage?”
Now Flood Insurance Is In The News…
To assist the public in understanding flood insurance, many news outlets have published informative articles. We invite our readers, to review these:
- ABC 13 Eyewitness NEWS: Flood insurance 101: Eight fact about covering your home and belongings
- CNN Money: Most homes in Tropical Storm Harvey’s path don’t have flood insurance
- USA Today: About 80% of Hurricane Harvey victims do not have flood insurance, face big bills
- NBC 4 WYFF: 5 big home insurance mistakes that could cost you thousands
- Greater Baton Rouge Business Report: Harvey serves as reminder to get flood insurance
Promoting better insurance inventory management…
It could be most consumers do not view their insurance policies as an inventory to manage. It is possible that our readers have numerous and varied insurance policies.
Each policy, with its different coverage lines and exclusions, needs to be fully understood. At John Bailey Insurance Agency one of our mediums of communication is our blog. As you take an inventory of your insurance policies, we invite you to revisit our published posts about flood insurance.
Consider your inventory through FEMA’s FLOODSMART tool
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offers the following facts for why you need flood insurance:
FACT: Floods are the nation’s most common and costly natural disaster and cause millions of dollars in damage every year.
FACT: Homeowners and renters insurance does not typically cover flood damage.
FACT: Floods can happen anywhere–More than 20 percent of flood claims come from properties outside the high risk flood zone.
FACT: Flood insurance can pay regardless of whether or not there is a Presidential Disaster Declaration.
FACT: Most federal disaster assistance comes in the form of low-interest disaster loans from U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) and you have to pay them back. FEMA offers disaster grants that don’t need to be paid back, but this amount is often much less than what is needed to recover. A claim against your flood insurance policy could and often does, provide more funds for recovery than those you could qualify for from FEMA or the SBA–and you don’t have to pay it back.
FACT: You may be required to have flood insurance. Congress has mandated federally regulated or insured lenders to require flood insurance on mortgaged properties that are located in areas at high risk of flooding. But even if your property is not in a high risk flood area, your mortgage lender may still require you to have flood insurance.
Flood insurance helps more: Check out your state’s flood history with FEMA’s interactive data visualization tool. Roll your cursor over each county to see how many flooding events have happened. The tool allows you to compare how much FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration have provided in terms of federal disaster aid after Presidential Disaster Declarations to the amount the National Flood Insurance program has paid to its policyholders. It’s easy to see that having flood insurance provides a lot more help for recovery.
We have more questions…
Do you live in the Knoxville, TN, area? Did you track Harvey? Have you thought of inventorying your own coverage? Again, do you have flood insurance coverage?
For more information about flood insurance, call John Bailey Insurance Agency. Since 1946 we have been serving our clients, we can review your policies and let you know if you are covered in the event of a flood.