Lessons from Sandy: Know your flood risk
Here in Florida, the aftermath of Storm Sandy may be primarily a memory for most people. Too bad it can’t be a lesson.
I was in New York and New Jersey last week, helping the Insurance Information Institute with educational outreach to consumers and media regarding the insurance process after a disaster. For me, it’s déjà vu all over again – because no matter the type of natural disaster or its target, the same questions and drama play out time and again. People tend to overlook or underestimate their risk, and this is a costly error.
Sandy was a flood event, and too few people in flood-risk areas of the Northeast had flood insurance. If you live close to any body of water, you have a flood risk and you know it. Ignoring this risk is costly. Sure, if it never flooded before, you may delude yourself into thinking it will never flood in the future. But being delusional pays off only if the sun never fails to shine.
Some people will say they can’t afford flood insurance. The real question is can you afford not to have it. Flood insurance coverage is separate coverage requiring a separate policy from the federal government. It is NOT part of your homeowners insurance policy, and if you don’t know whether or not you have a flood policy, that likely means you do not have one. It’s time to talk to your insurance company about flood coverage, while the sun is shining.
Click here for insight into the insurance industry’s response to Sandy.