A Friendly Reminder About Flood Insurance

As I write this, parts of Jefferson County have received more than six inches of rain in the last 24-hour period. Don’t get me wrong: hail, straight line winds, tornados and fallen trees are serious hazards. But for the moment I would like to focus on flood insurance.

24-hour rainfall totals as of 2pm on April 3, 2014

24-hour rainfall totals as of 2pm on April 3, 2014

Defining “Flood”

For the purposes of insurance, a “flood” is accumulated surface water from any source, whether it be a rising river, a backed-up storm drain, or a heavy rainstorm that exceeds the capacity of the storm drain system to carry water away fast enough. The recent trend of increasingly severe weather over the last several years — and the increase in the amount of paved surfaces in general in our area — have turned areas not formerly prone to flooding into areas that do have a significant risk.

If you’re not in an official “flood plain,” often may seem impossible that your home or business could flood… until it happens.

Getting It Covered

Unfortunately, unless you’ve specifically purchased a separte flood policy, flood damage is not likely to be covered by your other insurance policies. Since flood insurance was federalized in 1968, flood has been excluded under virtually all homeowners, businessowners and commercial property forms.

If you believe that your property may be at risk of damage from flash flooding, the best time to talk with an insurance agent about purchasing coverage is now. (Actually, 30 days ago would have been better, because there is a waiting period to bind coverage. But today is better than nothing.)

We’re here until 5:00 PM.

Insurance Is Not a Commodity

Progressive’s “Flo” makes it seem easy to get the insurance you need — just pick a box off the shelf and you’re done. Our agency sells policies with Progressive, among dozens of other companies, but I’m here to tell you that insurance policies are not alike, and you can’t compare them like you would compare boxes of cereal in the grocery store.
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