Excess Flood Insurance

Over the past two weeks, I’ve written about flood insurance. I wanted to wrap up this theme and address one of the limitations of a standard, government backed flood policy and that is the policy’s limits. Limits are present on all forms of insurance including home, car, jewelry, commercial, and even flood. When I refer to a policy’s limits, I’m referring to the maximum amount of coverage available on the policy for a specific item. The question we’ll answer in this post is how to obtain coverage beyond a standard flood insurance policy’s limits.

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Flooding, Flood Insurance, and 10 Little Known Facts

Many people tend to discount a flood can happen to them since they aren’t in a 50 or 100-year flood plain. But as many Houstonians can attest in the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, that may not count for much!

Here are 10 little known facts about flooding & flood insurance worth knowing!

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Flood Insurance Overview

Last week I reprised a post outlining reviewing your insurance in preparation for hurricane season (it started last Friday), and I wanted to follow that up with my annual overview on flood insurance. Flooding can happen at any time, whether it’s caused by torrential rains, a sub-tropical or tropical storm, or a hurricane. Let’s plunge into the two types of flood insurance coverage, as well as what happens if you need more than the standard policy provides.

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Potential Changes in the Flood Insurance Program

The National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP, was already in deep debt, to the tune of $24.6 billion, before Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, and Tropical Storm Nate hit our shores. Further complicating matters, the Congressional Budget Office, or CBO, is projecting a budgetary shortfall of $1.4 billion. Let’s examine what’s causing the budgetary shortfall and what the future implications are for the flood insurance program.

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Commercial Flood Insurance

There are two types of commercial flood insurance, standard flood insurance, which is a FEMA administered policy and excess flood insurance. Both serve a purpose for small, medium, and large businesses and offer coverage to help get the business back up and running.

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Returning Home After the Harvey Leaves

The sun peeked out Wednesday afternoon for a few minutes over west Houston reminding everyone briefly that it still is there. This was followed by heavy rains stretching from Houston to almost New Orleans as Tropical Storm Harvey moved back onshore and headed in a northeasterly direction. The end of the rain may be in sight but it will take weeks or months before all the floodwaters in Houston and elsewhere recede and dry ground reappears.

Homeowners whose homes have been flooded, will be anxious to review the damage as quickly as possible. Here are some guidelines from FEMA I believe is important to share.

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An Overview on Flood Insurance

Many people refer to a major water leak as flooding. Insurance, however, defines flooding, or a flood as rising water caused by rivers, lakes & streams overflowing their banks, rising water from heavy rains, or tidal surge which enters the home. This type of water damage isn’t covered by your home insurance policy, it’s only covered by flood insurance.

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Flood Insurance versus Federal Disaster Assistance

In August a slow moving unnamed storm system settled over Louisiana dumping up to 31.39 inches of rain over 72 hours resulting in a 1,000 year rain. Massive flooding occurred affecting 188,729 homes and 507,495 people, of which 60,000 were damaged by flood waters. It’s estimated that 78% of the homes damaged by flood waters did not have flood insurance.

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Flood Insurance Limits and How to Get Around Them

There are a number of things most people don’t know about flooding of flood insurance, such as flooding is the top natural disaster in the US, and that flash floods are the top weather related killer, or that 20% of all flood claims are from low and moderate risk flood zone areas (see https://wiseinsurancegroup.com/texas-floods-and-flood-insurance/). There is one other thing most people don’t know about flood insurance, and that is there are limits on how much a policy will pay on a claim.

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