With the warmer weather comes an increased risk of flooding. June marks the beginning of the Atlantic hurricane season and communities along the Arkansas River are facing historic river levels that haven’t been seen since the 1950’s. Whether you work for a property management company or serve on a community board, it’s important to educate yourself on the risk of flooding so you can better inform residents on risks and proactive measures to keep their families and belongings safe. Here are some key things you must know.
Flooding is far too common
90% of natural disasters in the United States involved some type of flooding. Inland flooding, flash floods, and flooding from seasonal storms occur in every region of the U.S. every year. According to FEMA, floods are the nation’s most common and costly natural disaster. Each year, floods cost America an average of $8.2 billion dollars.
Anyone can experience flooding
Sure, residents on the coast or near rivers are at the highest risk, but anyone can fall victim to flooding. In fact, more than 20% of flood claims come from properties outside high-risk flood zones.
Most insurance plans don’t cover flood damage
Even if you have a comprehensive home owner or renter’s insurance plan, there’s a good chance it doesn't cover flood damage. Typically, flood-related losses are only covered under specific flood insurance policies. FEMA offers disaster grants to assist in flood recovery, however, these typically don’t cover the full amount needed to recover your property.
Determine your risk for flooding
It’s important to understand the risk of flooding in your community. FloodSmart.gov allows you to look up flooding risks by address, so you can make an educated decision on whether or not to explore flood insurance options.
Flood insurance isn’t cheap
Flood insurance offered through the National Flood Insurance Program costs an average of $700 per year. Homes in low-risk areas can get policies closer to $405 per year, while homes in high-risk areas can expect to pay well over $2,500. While these plans don’t come cheap, they’re far cheaper than fixing the damage out of pocket. Even small amounts of water can cause significant, costly damage to your house. Just one inch of water can lead to over $27,000 in repairs!
Americans have been slow to purchase policies
According to a recent survey, 41% of respondents agree or strongly agree that flood insurance is a “good idea”, however only 17% claimed to have purchased a policy. With increased media coverage of the damage large storms like Hurricane Harvey and Maria have left behind, there’s hope more Americans will begin purchasing policies. Perhaps due to their tendency to remain digitally connected to news and media, Millennials are the most likely to purchase flood insurance. Millennials are three times more likely to have flood insurance than Baby Boomers.
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