In 2012, New York City was struck hard by Hurricane Sandy. At least $19 billion in economic activity was lost in the city alone and approximately $33 billion in the state. Damage estimates for New Jersey range from $20 billion to $30 billion.
Although rebuilding would be expensive and time-consuming, some victims were able to rely on financial aid from flood insurance. But, it looked hopeless for those without any coverage at all or inadequate coverage to ever return to a state of normalcy.
You can’t always keep your home and possessions dry, even if you have plenty of advance notice that a flood is likely. No coverage will guarantee that a hurricane won’t destroy your property, but flood insurance can help ease the financial burden if disaster strikes.
Learn more about flood insurance, including who should buy it, how much it costs, and where to buy it, below.
Do Floods Not Fall Within the Coverage of My Homeowners Insurance?
Many New Yorkers have the misguided belief that their homeowner’s insurance coverage will cover any damage caused by flooding. There is no truth to this. Typically, only specified losses are covered by insurance coverage.
The typical insurance policy covers damage caused by fire, wind, lightning, vandalism, theft, and hail. Since floods are typically so widespread and damaging, most policies expressly exclude coverage for them.
That’s why the government guarantees coverage for floods under the National Flood Insurance Program. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides at least basic flood insurance. When the value of many New York homes exceeds the NFIP’s restrictions, residents (and even some tenants) are forced to go elsewhere for flood protection.
As a first step, you should look into purchasing separate flood insurance from your homeowner’s policy. Also, check to see if your insurance is sufficient to help you get back on your feet financially after a devastating storm.
Am I in Danger Because of Where I Currently Am?
New York and New Jersey are both susceptible to floods, although certain locations are more at risk than others. As one might expect, waterfront real estate in New York City is more vulnerable to flooding than land further inland. In reality, however, even landmasses that appear to be safely inland from the water may be vulnerable. Here are a few of the city’s riskiest areas:
- Battery Park City
- South Street Seaport
- Upper Manhattan
- Brighton Beach
- Red Hook
- Howard Beach
Every potential danger or evacuation area is not included here. If you live in New York City, you can assess your risk of flooding by consulting a flood map.
It is also possible to calculate your potential flood damage using one of the many available online flood risk assessment tools in New Jersey. The state, unfortunately, seems to have to expand flood danger zones. As of right now, the following communities are most likely to be flooded:
- North Wildwood
- Ocean City
- Toms River
- Long Beach Township
- Atlantic City
There is always a risk of flooding, even if you do not reside in a region prone to floods due to natural and man-made disasters. Overflow from water bodies, such as retention ponds and irrigation systems, can cause flooding, especially if the snow melts in the winter or if there are heavy rains in the spring.
There is no such thing as perfect safety, as roughly 20% of National Flood Insurance Program claims come from those in low-risk locations.
Is There Anything Not to Be Included?
Yes. Many people are surprised to hear that flood insurance does not cover the contents of basements, crawl spaces, or walkout basements. The same goes for electronics, furniture, and flooring.
Limits on insurance protection are also in place. The maximum amount the federal government will pay out is $250,000 per structure and $100,000 per item. A company can purchase building insurance for up to $500,000 and contents insurance for up to $500,000.
The concept of deductibles is very important to understand. The deductibles for your belongings and your actual property may be different. Antiques, collectibles, and works of high art are not exempt from these rules. In the event that you need more protection for these things, you can get it. Get in touch with your insurance agent for specifics.
Can you tell me how much flood insurance typically costs?
What is the cost of New Jersey or New York flood insurance? FEMA estimates that the annual premium for flood insurance to be around $500. That comes out to just over $40 monthly (which is not bad when you consider how much flood damage could cost).
Naturally, not everyone will have the same policy, and consequently, rates will differ based on individual risk and the extent of coverage selected (as flood insurance will cover exactly what that policy says it covers, and no more).
When and where can I get flood insurance?
It’s time to make sure you’re protected by obtaining a policy now that you know flood insurance isn’t included in your homeowners policy, that living in a low-risk location doesn’t guarantee you’re secure from a flood, and that the coverage is more affordable than most people think.
As luck would have it, flood insurance is easy to obtain. Talk to your existing insurer, or contact several others to ensure you have enough data to make an educated choice. Learn everything you need to know about the flood insurance we offer right here.
In most cases, you won’t have enough time to evacuate before a flood hits. You don’t want to go through the stress of a flood just to discover that your insurance won’t cover the costs of repairs or replacement.
Get flood insurance in New York so you’re ready for everything Mother Nature can throw at you. Whilst we hope you’ll never need to use it, flood insurance will put your mind at ease if the worst should happen.