II: Many homeowners lack sufficient flood insurance coverage

Hurricane season puts homeowners at risk


A recent report from the Information Institute (I.I.I.) pointed out the lack of sufficient flood insurance coverage by many homeowners in the U.S. despite it being near the peak of hurricane season.

“People tend to underestimate the risk of flooding,” Jeanne M. Salvatore, senior vice president and consumer spokesperson for the I.I.I., said in a statement. “But, in fact, 90 percent of all natural disasters in this country involve flooding.”

According to the I.I.I., fewer than 20 percent of homeowners in the U.S. have a flood insurance policy despite the fact that more than 80 percent of natural disasters involve flooding.

Protection against flood damage caused by natural disasters such as hurricanes is typically excluded from a standard home insurance policy. Flood coverage can be obtained by homeowners through the National Flood Insurance Program to offer protection against such events.

See also: Is flood damage covered under a typical home insurance policy?

Salvatore also pointed out that there is a 30-day waiting period for flood insurance to take effect. Once a homeowner applies for flood protection and makes the first premium payment, flood coverage usually doesn’t go into effect for a full 30 days.

In addition, Salvatore said, homeowners should take the threat of flooding seriously regardless of whether they live in an area prone to floods or not. That is, a “low risk” area is not the same as a “no risk” area.

“Since the inception of the NFIP, 25 to 30 percent of the NFIP’s paid losses were for damage in areas not officially designated as special flood hazard area at the time of the loss,” Salvatore said.