SCC’s Bureau of Insurance Offers Post-Hurricane Season Flood Insurance Reminders
NOV 30, 2022
RICHMOND – Although the Atlantic Hurricane season ends November 30, the State Corporation Commission’s Bureau of Insurance (Bureau) reminds Virginians that floods can happen anywhere and anytime – not just during hurricane season. Heavy rains, saturated soil, melting snow and ice, broken dams and a lack of vegetation due to wildfires or other causes are just a few factors that can contribute to flooding.
Floods are the most common and costly natural disaster in the United States, causing damages in the billions of dollars each year. Just one inch of water can cause as much as $25,000 damage to your home, according to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
“It only takes a few inches of water to cause major damage to your home and other property. Assess your flood risk and take steps now to protect yourself physically and financially from floods,” said Virginia Insurance Commissioner Scott White. “Having flood insurance can help you recover faster once the floodwaters recede.”
Standard homeowners, renters and commercial insurance policies issued in Virginia typically do not provide coverage for damage caused by floods, surface water or storm surge. However, coverage may be available to homeowners, renters and businesses in eligible communities through the NFIP. The federally-backed flood insurance offered through the NFIP provides separate coverage for structures and contents in the event of flood damage. In addition to the NFIP, flood insurance coverage may be available through some private insurers.
Advance planning is crucial since policyholders typically must wait 30 days for a flood insurance policy to take effect. To learn more about flood insurance, contact your insurance agent or the NFIP at 1-800-427-4661, or visit floodsmart.gov. Be sure to ask whether your flood insurance policy covers your personal property.
Virginia residents should assess the risk of potential flood damage and determine if they live in a community eligible to participate in the NFIP. If you live in a floodplain near a river, or if you live near the coast, it is especially important to consider the need for flood insurance coverage.
Unlike homeowners insurance, auto insurance usually does include damage caused by flooding provided you have “other-than-collision” (often referred to as “comprehensive”) coverage on your vehicle. In addition to water damage caused by flooding, comprehensive coverage typically helps pay to repair or replace vehicles if they are stolen or otherwise damaged by such things as fire, water, wind, hail, vandalism, glass breakage, falling objects or contact with an animal. Check your auto insurance policy or contact your insurance agent if unsure whether your vehicle is protected in the event of flood damage.
For questions or information about a variety of insurance-related topics, contact the Virginia Bureau of Insurance in Richmond at 804-371-9741 or toll-free at 1-877-310-6560 or visit its website at scc.virginia.gov/pages/insurance.
Contact: Katha Treanor, 804-371-9141
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