When a hurricane notice, or worse, a hurricane warning, is issued, it’s too late to suddenly realize that you should have gotten flood insurance. Or perhaps you assumed it was already covered by your policy, just to discover, as the storm approached and you scrambled through your insurance records, that it wasn’t.
“Most consumers fail to review their insurance policy to know what’s included and what isn’t, and then they’re shocked they didn’t have the protection,” says Lynne McChristian, advisor to the Insurance Information Institute.
We’ve all done something behind schedule at some time in our lives. But when it comes to storms, the stakes are too great to take such a risk. Once a storm watch or warning has been announced, insurance companies don’t permit homeowners to buy new or additional coverage.
Hurricanes have one thing in common: they have a defined season, allowing you to plan for flooding coverage well before storms form. Here’s everything you need to understand about hurricane coverage so that you can be ready long before the storm hits.
Is Flooding Covered by My Home Insurance?
No. Floods are never covered by homeowner’s insurance. You need special flood insurance to protect against severe cyclones, overflowing rivers, and heavy rain. Keep in mind that one inch of water could cause $25,000 in damage to your property. You’re taking a huge gamble if you procrastinate. So it’s good to know that Neptune Flood can provide affordable flood coverage backed by the same cutting-edge technology used by NASA and the Federal government.
Is There a Flood Insurance Waiting Period?
The NFIP, which FEMA oversees, is one solution for flood insurance. But this sort of insurance has limits. Residents of participating regions are the only ones who may use it. On the other hand, Neptune’s insurance is available to anyone who has an internet connection in 48 states and Washington D.C.
Additionally, if you acquire flood insurance via the NFIP, coverage will not begin until 30 days after the purchase date. If a hurricane hits during that 30-day window, your insurance will not cover flood-related loss to your house or belongings. Let’s assume flooding begins a day before your coverage kicks in – you’d be in a lot of trouble.
However, if you are insured with Neptune Flood, you’ll get complete coverage in 10 days rather than 30. That’s almost three weeks faster!
Is There Any Option for Obtaining Last-Minute Flood Coverage?
Your best choice for getting coverage is to go via a private insurance provider. Private insurers will evaluate your home’s risk depending on its location, background, and susceptibility. If they determine that the danger is too great, they may refuse you. Remember that most insurers cease offering flooding plans when a storm warning is issued.
Do I Need Insurance If I Stay in A Low-Risk Area?
Even if you reside in a region with a reduced probability of direct hurricane impact, you might still be struck by a hurricane and its associated deluge. People outside of high-risk zones submit more than 25% of flooding claims.
Storm surge is another severe side effect of a storm that may wreak havoc on supposedly low-risk places. Storm surge is a flood of water, similar to a tsunami, that is brought onshore by a cyclone. It creates a significant flood danger not only along the coast but further inland. To demonstrate, Hurricane Katrina created a 28-foot flash flooding in Mississippi, flooding 12 miles inland.
When a storm reaches landfall, it may unleash torrential rains. When Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, it not only caused cataclysmic floods but also overloaded the city’s drainage canals and levees. Almost 80% of the area was submerged.
What Exactly Does Flood Insurance Cover?
Flood insurance separates your home’s structural and personal property into two different policies that can be acquired individually. Here’s how Neptune’s flooding coverage, which covers the two kinds of property, outperforms the NFIP’s policy:
- Contents — The NFIP provides up to $100,000 in real cash value coverage for personal items (clothes, furnishings, mattresses, etc.). This implies that it only pays for the expense of replacing damaged or lost items depending on their depreciated worth. Neptune Flood provides complete coverage for your apartment’s belongings up to $500,000 for added peace of mind.
- Home – If you insure a single-family, principal residence, the NFIP caps protection at $250,000, covering damage to the property (carpet, foundation, etc.) with new items, irrespective of depreciation. For the property where you’ve formed beautiful memories, Neptune Flood provides maximum coverage of $4,000,000.
I’ve Seen Flood Maps, But What Exactly Are They?
A flooding map is a chart of potential floods that depicts the likelihood of flooding in your location. The map is separated into zones that depict the frequency and severity of flooding. These maps cannot anticipate where the water will flow during a cyclone or how severe the flooding would be. It is merely a suggestion and should not be relied on while preparing for insurance.
What About Assistance from FEMA?
If you are uninsured and experience hurricane-related water damage, FEMA aid may appear to be a white knight who will come in and rescue the day. However, it comes at a price and is not a fast remedy. Federal disaster aid is only available when a national disaster is declared.
Nevertheless, most floods do not warrant a declaration. Furthermore, if you are unsuccessful to obtain a FEMA grant, you will be saddled with a low-interest catastrophe loan, and you will be required to quickly repay the loan obligation you currently have on your home.
Do you know that FEMA disaster aid won’t restore your house to a pre-hurricane state or replace the majority of your prized possessions? Also, remember that FEMA was heavily criticized following Hurricane Katrina for supposedly delivering relief late or not at all.
Your homeowners’ insurance policy protects your house against a variety of losses and threats. However, if calamity hits in the shape of excessive rains, a tropical storm, or a hurricane that causes flooding, you must have flood coverage in place.
Neptune Flood understands how a hurricane could shatter the life you’ve worked so hard to build. That’s why we encourage you to buy insurance from us far in advance of the hurricane season. Time is of the essence, so contact us today and you’ll be ready for the worst and backed by the best.
Original article published April 2019. Updated content and references December 2021.