Will Flood Insurance Cover Storm Damage?

A storm surge is characterized by the National Hurricane Center (NHC) as an abnormal growth in water caused by a storm. If storm surge occurs during high tide, it can create a tide 20 feet higher than usual. The NHC rates storm surge as the primary cause of property damage and death during hurricanes.


Homeowners insurance doesn’t cover property damage from floods, and personal flood insurance can be expensive. In 1968, the federal government established the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to provide homeowners in flood zones using affordable flood-insurance policies. These policies do protect against storm surge.


A flooding, according to the NFIP, happens when two acres are overwhelmed by water from a mudflow, property collapses across the water’s edge, there is an unusual accumulation of surface water, or inland or tidal waters overflow. The final category includes storm surge.


Flood insurance is available for homeowners, tenants and industrial property. Policies are available to cover only the construction, only the contents of this construction, or both. Some storm-surge damage will not be covered, but such as loss of money or valuable documents; outdoor property such as trees, septic systems, decks or fences; and even automobiles.


The cost of flood insurance fluctuates depending whether the Federal Emergency Management Agency classifies your property as a low-to-moderate flooding risk or a high-ranking Specific Hazard Flood Area. Any property vulnerable to a coastal storm surge is classified as high-risk and will be charged a higher premium. Flood insurance is unavailable in coastal zones the government has classified as environmentally sensitive Coastal Barrier Resource Places since the government doesn’t want to promote development there.


In adjusting insurance claims following a hurricane, the question of whether harm was caused by wind or storm surge often comes up. Personal insurers who can convince a court that their customers’ harm was due to storm surge, not end, do not have to pay the promises.

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