III: Time to consider a flood insurance policy
Many areas still at risk despite mild winter
With the start of Spring already in the books, now is the time to consider purchasing a flood insurance policy, the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.) said in a recent report.
According to the I.I.I., this winter’s mostly mild and dry conditions does reduce the likelihood of flooding due to snow melt, but it does not eliminate the risk of flooding caused by rain, hurricanes or other disasters.
“Just because most of the United States had dry and mild winter weather doesn’t mean flood risks have altogether disappeared,” Michael Barry, vice president of Media Relations at the I.I.I., said in a statement. “Largely due to the limited winter snowfall, for the first time in four years, no area of the country faces in 2012 a high risk of major to record spring flooding, according to the federal government. But some states have still been deemed as being at above-normal risk of flooding.”
According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA) 2012 Spring Outlook: “The Ohio River basin, including portions of Illinois, Indiana, and Kentucky, along with parts of Louisiana and Mississippi are the only areas [of the U.S.] with an above-normal risk of flooding as soil moisture and river levels are currently above normal. Additionally, odds favor above-average April rainfall for the Ohio River basin.”
Flood insurance considerations
Flood coverage is typically excluded under standard home insurance policies, the I.I.I. said. The same is true of many business insurance policies. It is important to note that comprehensive auto insurance policies do include flood coverage.
Because the lack of flood coverage in standard home and business policies, flood coverage must be purchased in a separate policy obtained through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
NFIP policies come with a 30-day waiting period (from purchase date) before coverage goes into effect, so it’s important to start the process early, the I.I.I. urged.