Lessons From Hurricane Season in 2017: Got Flood Insurance?


It took lower than a month for the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season to turn out to be one of many worst in recorded historical past.

Hurricane Harvey made landfall in southeast Texas on August twenty fifth as a Class 4 storm with winds of 130 mph. The storm surge elevated water and tides greater than 12 ft above floor stage in some locations. Harvey shattered rainfall data because it meandered for days, with some areas receiving greater than 40 inches of rain in lower than 48 hours.

Hurricane Irma hit Florida on September tenth as a Class 4 storm. In keeping with researchers, Irma is among the strongest storms to roam the Atlantic Basin in additional than a decade. Irma had sustained winds of 185 mph for 37 hours, which is the longest any cyclone anyplace on the earth has maintained that stage of depth.

On September twentieth, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico as a Class 4 storm with 150 mph winds. The complete island suffered catastrophic injury. In some locations the injury was absolute.

As an impartial insurance coverage agent dwelling and dealing in South Florida for over 30 years, getting ready for and recovering after storms is nothing new. However, this yr was completely different. As Hurricane Irma was making its means towards the southeastern coast of america, we acquired an unprecedented variety of calls about flood insurance coverage. Why?

Everybody noticed the catastrophic flooding in Texas brought on by Hurricane Harvey only a few weeks earlier. The injury was devastating. So was the information that almost 80% of house owners within the counties most immediately affected by flooding didn’t have flood insurance coverage.

In keeping with the Federal Emergency Administration Company (FEMA), floods are the most typical and costliest pure catastrophe. FEMA’s flood hazard mapping program is used to establish flood hazards, assess flood dangers and decide flood insurance coverage necessities.

Sadly, too many owners and companies refuse to hold flood insurance coverage just because they don’t seem to be situated in a high-risk flood zone. Hurricane Harvey taught us that relating to flooding, mom nature would not take note of FEMA’s flood zone maps. Neither must you.

Flood zones are all the time being re-mapped, but it surely’s a protracted course of that may take years. Up to date maps rapidly turn out to be out-of-date. Furthermore, the method of figuring out property that’s inclined to flooding just isn’t an ideal science. For instance, flood zone determinations fail to adequately take into account:

  • localized drainage points;
  • long-term erosion;
  • ongoing improvement;
  • topographic variances on particular person properties; or
  • the failure of flood management techniques.

That is why everybody ought to significantly take into account flood insurance coverage, no matter whether or not they’re situated in a high-risk flood zone. Premiums are comparatively inexpensive, notably when you think about the dangers assumed by a flood insurance coverage coverage, such because the:

  • overflow of inland or tidal waters;
  • collapse of land alongside a physique of water from waves or currents; and
  • speedy accumulation of floor waters from any supply, together with blocked storm drains and damaged water pipes beneath the floor of the bottom.

Uninsured flood injury can devastate any residence or enterprise. Over the course of only a few weeks, we have seen the landfall of not one, not two, however three hurricanes that rank among the many strongest storms in recorded historical past. That is why these counting on flood zone maps to justify their determination to not buy flood insurance coverage ought to significantly rethink.

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