Flood Insurance—Hurricane Wind Damage Not Included in Standard Homeowner Policies
Hurricane Preparedness Week (#HurricanePrep) starts May 5 and ends May 11. Ready.gov and the National Weather Service remind homeowners and businesses to get an insurance checkup ahead of the approaching Atlantic Hurricane Season. Property lost to a hurricane hurts bad enough. Learning too late that insurance won’t cover all the damages makes it even harder to bear and some homeowners and businesses never recover. Insurance policies do not automatically cover damage from flooding and in many coastal states, hurricane wind damage comes at an additional cost.
As the winds of a hurricane spiral inward toward the eye, they push the surface of the ocean toward the center of the storm. Water at the center builds into a mound many feet above the ocean surface and extends outward from the center for miles. The mound of water moves ashore with the hurricane and with force and speed. The storm surge of water causes more deaths and property damage than any other hurricane hazard. Storm surge in Mississippi during Hurricane Katrina reached 27 feet—higher than the ceiling on the second floor of a house.
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, storm surge causes 50 percent of all deaths and damages. Another 25 percent comes from inland flooding during and after excessive rainfall. Storm surge can reach several miles or more inland along waterways. Inland flooding often reaches much further.
An insurance checkup is one of the easiest ways to plan and prepare for a hurricane disaster. Before any storm threatens, homeowners can call their insurance agent to ask specific questions about what their homeowner policy covers and what it does not in the aftermath of a hurricane.
Flood damage from storm surge or inland flooding is rarely, if ever, covered by a homeowner policy. Coverage varies by state and damage from hurricane-force winds may require additional insurance. Adding coverage may require a waiting period and flood insurance doesn’t take effect for 30 days. The National Flood Insurance Program covers flooding anywhere in the United States and is a separate policy apart from homeowner insurance coverage. A Complete Hurricane Preparedness Plan includes policy upgrades and flood insurance.
The addition of flood insurance and wind damage insurance combined with a homeowner policy completes insurance preparation for most homeowners. A home reinforced with hurricane ties and storm shutters may lower the cost of wind insurance. Adequate window and door protection provide a key component to preventing roof loss.
Every year, Norwall PowerSystems (www.norwall.com) expands its growing library with more information about emergency and disaster preparedness for hurricanes and other weather events. The 2019 Hurricane Season begins on June 1, less than a month away. Are you #HurricaneStrong?
About Norwall PowerSystems
Norwall PowerSystems, established in 1997, specializes in the sale of emergency backup power generators and outdoor power equipment. Norwall stocks 1000s of standby generators, portable generators, automatic transfer switches, and replacement parts in multiple warehouses throughout the US for immediate shipment. With over 75 years of combined experience in the electrical and power plant arenas, sales staff provide courteous and knowledgeable service to customers by listening, taking notes, and providing information in a timely manner. Regular, factory-sponsored training keeps staff up to date on new products. Now in business over 20 years, Norwall has shipped a quarter-million generators.