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McQuiston: The Next Catastrophic Flood Could Be Coming For You

on March 14, 2019 - 11:01am
The Jemez Agency
Rain, rain, go away! At least that is what most of us are thinking after a few months, or in some cases, years of heavier-than-normal rainfalls.

The U.S. has experienced flooding in areas that haven’t been affected for hundreds of years. If your home is next, are you covered? Probably not. Did you know the standard homeowner’s or renter’s policy does not provide coverage for flooding?

Some homeowners are required by their mortgage company to purchase a flood policy, usually because the home is in a designated flood plain.

Generally the only option for flood insurance is through the National Flood Insurance Protection (NFIP). These are considered to be high-risk areas.

However, lately, we’ve seen more flooding in low-to-moderate flood risk areas that are far from the coastal storm exposures. What does low-to-moderate flood risk mean? It means that no matter your location, we are all at risk.

It’s likely many homeowners have never thought about having flood insurance.

In fact, NFIP reports that 20 percent of all flood losses come from homeowners in low-to-moderate risk areas and the average claim in the low-risk areas are costing an average of $27,000. Whether it be an overflow of inland waters from a river, lake, creek, or rapid accumulation of runoff surface water, the flood risk is very real.

Keep in mind, a homeowners policy excludes coverage from below ground water leaking into your home as well as water that surges into a home from heavy rains like we experienced last summer.

In fact I had one client in Santa Fe suffer a loss of over $15,000 from the storms last summer. The slope of his back yard funneled heavy rains through his sliding glass doors damaging his carpets and hard wood floors. Not something he was happy to pay out of pocket for.

For more information about Personal Flood Coverage, contact your insurance professional today.