It took less than a month for the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season to become one of the worst in recorded history.
Hurricane Harvey made landfall in southeast Texas on August 25th as a Category 4 storm with winds of 130 mph. The storm surge increased water and tides more than 12 feet above ground level in some places. Harvey shattered rainfall records as it meandered for days, with some areas receiving more than 40 inches of rain in less than 48 hours.
Flood insurance according to Irma
Hurricane Irma hit Florida on September 10th as a Category 4 storm. According to researchers, Irma is one of the most powerful storms to roam the Atlantic Basin in more than a decade. Irma had sustained winds of 185 mph for 37 hours, which is the longest any cyclone anywhere in the world has maintained that level of intensity.
On September 20th, Hurricane Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico as a Category 4 storm with 150 mph winds. The entire island suffered catastrophic damage. In some places the damage was absolute.
An Independent insurance agent of the flood insurance
As an independent insurance agent living and working in South Florida for over 30 years, preparing for and recovering after storms are nothing new. But, this year was different. As Hurricane Irma was making its way toward the southeastern coast of the United States, we received an unprecedented number of calls about flood insurance.
Everyone saw the catastrophic flooding in Texas caused by Hurricane Harvey just a few weeks earlier. The damage was devastating. So was the news that nearly 80% of homeowners in the counties most directly affected by flooding did not have flood insurance.
EMA’s flood hazard mapping program is used to identify flood hazards, assess flood risks and determine flood insurance requirements.
To carry flood insurance
Unfortunately, too many homeowners and businesses refuse to carry flood insurance simply because they are not located in a high-risk flood insurance zone. Hurricane Harvey educated us that when it approaches flooding, mother nature doesn’t pay attention to FEMA’s flood zone maps. Neither should you.
Flood insurance zones are always being re-mapped, but it’s a long process that can take years. Updated maps quickly become out-of-date. Moreover, the procedure of recognizing property that is impressionable to flooding is not an ideal science. For example, flood insurance zone determinations fail to adequately consider:
Consider flood insurance
This is why everyone should seriously consider flood insurance, regardless of whether they are located in a high-risk flood zone. Premiums are relatively affordable, particularly when you consider the risks assumed by a flood insurance policy, such as the:
overflow of inland or tidal waters;
Uninsured flood damage can devastate any home or business. Over the course of just a few weeks, we’ve seen the landfall of not one, not two, but three hurricanes that rank among the most powerful storms in recorded history. This is why those depend on flood zone maps to rationalize their decision to not purchase flood insurance should seriously rethink.