Homeowners in the northeastern states won’t soon forget the effects of Superstorm Sandy and all of the flooding and damage it did. Millions of residents in the New Jersey, New York and surrounding areas were affected by the ravages of the storm which has so far totaled over $18 billion in damages. Between the wind, rain and fires that broke out as a result of electrical damage, it will be a long time before everything gets back to “normal” for these homeowners.
As a result of the widespread damages caused by Sandy, the federal flood insurance is still busy at work evaluating the claims that were made. Unfortunately, much of the flood damage that was caused by the storm wasn’t even insured, as a standard homeowners insurance policy does not cover damages caused by flood. Many homeowners simply did not know that they weren’t covered and are now struggling to pay for their loss.
Flood Insurance in Massachusetts
For homeowners living in Massachusetts, it is important to review your current homeowners insurance policy to determine whether or not you would be covered for flood damage caused by any future storms or incidents. More and more Americans are becoming aware of the need for flood insurance and since 2000 there has been a 30 percent increase in residential policies to cover floods.
Despite the increase in awareness, particularly for homeowners in the northeastern states, there are still millions of Americans who are not covered for flood damage. Statistics for 2012 reveal that only 5.7 million homeowners currently have coverage, leaving many, many more unprotected. The Insurance Information Institute says that only 1 in 8 homeowners has coverage on a nationwide level.
While figures are higher in the northeast, thanks to Hurricane Irene and Superstorm Sandy, many homeowners are simply not sure whether or not they are covered. Speak with your Fall River insurance agent to find out whether or not you have flood insurance added to your homeowners insurance policy. FEMA has recently revised the flood zones in the northeastern states and across the country, so it pays to keep in touch with your Fall River insurance agent to find out where you should get flood insurance in Massachusetts.
The National Flood Insurance Program
Back in 1968, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program to help Americans get the coverage they needed to protect them against costly flood damage. The policies that come from this program are administered and backed by the federal government. They can be purchased through your Fall River insurance agent, providing up to $250,000 worth of coverage for your home and up to $100,000 for your personal property kept inside.
Flood insurance in Massachusetts is also available for businesses. The National Flood Insurance Program extends coverage up to $500,000 for business owners who want to protect themselves against potential flood damage.
Depending on where you live, your lender might require you to get flood insurance to protect their investment in your home. This is true of high-risk flood areas and sometimes even homeowners who live in areas that only have a low-to-moderate risk of flooding. You might be surprised to learn that statistics reveal that as much as 20 percent of all flood claims filed in the United States come from property and business owners who are located in those low-to-moderate risk zones.
If your home has already experienced a flood you can still get flood insurance in Massachusetts. Congress passed legislation in 1994 that denies federal disaster aid to people who have been flooded twice that didn’t buy flood damage coverage after the first incident. This legislation encourages people to add flood insurance to their homeowners insurance policy.
Contact Your Fall River Insurance Agent Today
It is important to note that there is a stipulation to getting flood insurance in Massachusetts or anywhere else in the United States. Most policies take 30 days from the date that the policy was purchased to become effective. That’s why you shouldn’t wait until the next Superstorm is forecast for the northeast before you call your Fall River insurance agent to look over your homeowners insurance policy.
Call Paul Sullivan Insurance at 508-678-9611 or use the online contact form to get more information. Since 1956, Sullivan Insurance Agency has been independently serving personal, business and marine customers throughout Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Call today for a free quote or to make sure your homeowners insurance package includes flood insurance.