Insurance: Things to Know About Floods and Flood Insurance

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Flooding is a common occurrence affecting more millions of Americans. Flash flooding is actually the leading cause of weather-related deaths in the U.S., and over half of the flooding deaths are vehicle-related _ which almost triples the number of flood-related deaths caused by lightning and other outdoor activities. In 2016, the National Flood Insurance Program coverage amount was $ 1,254,564,168. As a point of comparison, in 2006, the coverage amount was only $1,054,087,148. In 1996, the coverage amount was $400,681,650. As these numbers suggest, flooding events are increasing, not decreasing. On average, floods cause approximately $6 billion worth of damage and claim 140 lives each year. The most significant flood events in recent years include Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy. However, nameless storms and flood events can also cause significant damage. In fact, the 4th most significant flood event in the country, which occurred in Louisiana in August 2016, was not a hurricane or a superstorm. In just 15 hours, over 31 inches of rain fell in just one parish. There are many misconceptions regarding flooding incidents and flood insurance coverage. ThereÍs a tendency to underestimate the impact of floodwaters and the dangers they pose. Often, victims find out too late that they are unable to navigate water environments. According to the Weather Channel, the air blowing in a EF5 tornado is comparable to flood water moving at just 6 miles per hour. Also, some people assume that federal disaster assistance will cover most _ if not all _ of the damage caused by flooding, but there are various limitations and stipulations regarding federal support. In addition, many people donÍt know to what degree _ if any _ their homeownerÍs insurance will cover flood events. This lack of knowledge can result in denied claims and cause financial hurdles that prove to be insurmountable.

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