Rivers swollen by Hurricane Sally's rains have destroyed parts of the Florida Panhandle and southern Alabama, and the remnants of the storm are expected to spread the flood to Georgia and the Carolinas.
Many of the damaged properties will undoubtedly be uninsured, exacerbating the misery of homeowners.
A well-known coverage gap
The protection for flood insurance has been well documented. A recently published Triple-I paper ̵
"Every home can be flooded," said Dan Kaniewski, Marsh & McLennan's executive director of public sector innovation and former deputy director of resilience at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). "Even if you are far beyond a floodplain 196. Get flood insurance. Whether you are a homeowner or a tenant or a business – get flood insurance. ”
Dr. Rick Knabb – on-air hurricane expert for Weather Channel, who speaks at Triple-I & # 39 ;s Joint Industry Forum for 2019 – is also emphatic.
"If it can rain where you live," he said, "it can flood where you live.
Despite such warnings, even in designated flood zones, the protection gap is still large. A McKinsey & Co. analysis of flood insurance prices in areas most affected by three Category 4 hurricanes that landed in the United States – Harvey, Irma and Maria – found that as many as 80 percent of homeowners in Texas, 60 percent in Florida and 99 percent of Puerto Rico lacked flood insurance.
To make matters worse, a recent analysis by the nonprofit First Street Foundation showed that the United States was deplorably prepared to damage floods. The report identified "approximately 1.7 times the number of properties as a significant risk", compared to FEMA's designation.
"This corresponds to a total of 14.6 million properties across the country with significant risk, of which 5.9 million property owners are currently unaware of or underestimate the risk they face, says the foundation.
A recent Triple-I analysis , conducted in advance by Hurricane Sally, found that flood insurance purchase rates in the counties most likely to be affected by the storm were "Remarkably low."
"In Taylor County, Ga., for example, only 0.09 percent of the properties insured against floods ", wrote Triple-I.
NOT covered by the home insurance
Flood damage is exempt from standard insurance for homeowners and tenants. However, flood cover is available as a national cover. Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), administered by FEMA, and from a growing number of private insurance companies, thanks to sophisticated flood models that have made insurance more comfortable to write this once "immobile"
Invest in resilience
If it seems like you've heard me hit this drum before, you're right. I take flood and flood insurance very personally.
After Hurricane Irene flooded my inner core in New Jersey in August 2011 and destroyed many immutable objects, it was my flood insurance that enabled me to have a French drain and two powerful pumps installed that have since kept my historically moist basement leg dry – even during Superstorm Sandy the following year.