Flood claims rise over summer months; be prepared with flood insurance

Flood claims rise over summer months; be prepared with flood insurance

While it’s not surprising that there are 60% more hurricane claims filed in the summer, recent reports from Farmers Insurance show that 56% of flood claims happen between the months of June and August.  Jim Taylor head of claims for Farmers Insurance said that “summer should be a time of relaxation, but Farmers knows from years of experience that the season also brings certain risks from bad weather.” When summer storms hit, rapid rainfall and flash flooding can occur with very little notice, causing low land areas to become flooded.

Flooding is the most common and costly natural disaster. Flooding can happen anywhere and you don’t have to live in a flood zone or a flood prone area to fall victim of a flood. More than 20% of flood claims come from areas outside flood zones. Just 1 inch of water can cause up to $25,000 in damage to a home, condo or apartment.

Only Flood Insurance Protects You from the Effects of Flooding

Securing Flood Insurance, is a good way to gain peace of mind that your home and belongings are protected in the event of severe summer weather. Many people mistakenly assume their homeowners insurance policy or renters policy covers flooding. A separate flood insurance policy must be obtained, (in addition to homeowners insurance) in order for the effects of flood damage to be covered. However, FEMA estimates that only about 3% of homeowners have actually purchased flood insurance. Flood insurance can mean the difference between being able to rebuild your home after a flood, and having to pay out of pocket to repair or rebuild. Residents of the coastal towns along the South Shore of Massachusetts, such as Duxbury, Cohasset, Hull and Scituate have felt the devastating effects of flooding.

When severe weather happens, there are simple ways to minimize the risk of damage to your home and your vehicle:

  • Be cautious of water on roadways: According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, just six inches of water can reach the bottom of most passenger cars. However, in a recent poll, more than one-third of Americans said they were comfortable driving their vehicles through six inches of water.  Driving through flood water can be very dangerous, as it can cause a vehicle to lose control or stall.  Flood water can also hide dangers such as downed power lines. Whenever possible, when flooding rains happen, pull over safely and wait for the rain to subside.
  • When in doubt, re-route: Be mindful of where you are driving, such as if you’re driving near drainage channels, underpasses or similar areas where flash flooding can occur.
  • Keep valuables out of harm’s way: Place valuable belongings such as important documents, electronics and jewelry, higher on shelves or tables or waterproof storage containers in case water penetrates your home. Also, consider storing irreplaceable items in an alternate safer location.

McSweeney & Ricci recommends that homeowners, renters, and business owners, take steps to minimize damage to their homes and cars and also purchase flood insurance, regardless of their proximity to the coast. Don’t wait for a storm to call your McSweeney & Ricci Account Manager about adding a flood insurance policy. It may take thirty days for flood insurance to take effect after it is purchased (there is no waiting period if a flood policy is required for your mortgage), so if you are considering a flood insurance policy in Massachusetts or have questions about flood insurance for your area, contact us today or request a complimentary quote for flood insurance through our website.

With offices in Cohasset, Marshfield and Braintree,  McSweeney & Ricci has helped residents of Massachusetts with affordable insurance protection and expert advice for their homes, cars and businesses for over fifty years.

Sources:
Property Casualty 360: “More than 50% of flood claims occur in the summer” July 03, 2019 author: Heather Turner
Property Casualty 360: “Flood Insurance 101: What Agents Need to Know” May 14, 2019 author: Jim Albert

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