News Room

Floods are the most common natural disaster in the U.S. Are you insured?

COLUMBIA, S.C. – May 2, 2016 – Many in South Carolina are still recovering from a historic rain event that caused dam failures and severe flooding in October last year. Even as the memories of that tragedy still linger, and others in the South have been more recently impacted by disastrous floods, many still underestimate the risk of flooding. As spring and summer bring about weather that is capable of producing heavy rains, and hurricanes, the S.C. Insurance News Service offers the following reminders, facts, and tips as you consider ways to help protect your property from potentially devastating loss.

First, an important reminder: standard homeowners and renters insurance policies do not cover flood damage. Flood losses need a separate policy. If your car is damaged by a flood, you’ll need comprehensive coverage to cover the loss, which is optional.

Now, consider this fact: floods are the most common natural disaster in the U.S., and most of South Carolina is at risk of some flooding. Coastal flooding from a hurricane’s storm surge, rivers, and less severe flash flooding from heavy rainfall all have the ability to threaten our state. Despite the risk, the Insurance Information Institute estimates that only ten percent of homeowners have a flood insurance policy.

Anyone can purchase flood insurance, even if you live in a low to moderate risk areas, or area outside of the special flood hazard risk areas. In fact, there are a growing number of options for flood insurance in several different markets.

While flood was once viewed as an uninsurable risk, federal legislation (the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012) overhauled many aspects of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), and has created new opportunities for private flood insurance.

One example, Acentria Insurance, offers a wide range of flood insurance programs in every state so that coverage can be more closely tailored to match your individual property and risk. While some elements are modeled after the NFIP, having more flexibility means consumers can find options that provide equal or better coverage (compared to the NFIP). In fact, many of Acentria’s programs provide several coverage enhancements, and in most cases, offer considerable premium savings when compared to the NFIP.

“Flooding has caused damage in all 50 states within the past 6 years and on average, losses average $50 billion per year,” said Kendall McEachern, Chief Executive Officer of Acentria Insurance. “We are pleased to offer protection against the most common natural disaster across the country.”

The National Flood Insurance Program estimates the average flood claim over the last 10 years has been almost $50,000. Consult with your agent or company about ways you can protect your property against flood losses.

For more information from the S.C. Insurance News Service, or to schedule an interview, call (803)252-3455.

For almost 40 years, the South Carolina Insurance News Service has been providing free insurance information to consumers and the media about property and casualty insurance issues

For more information, contact the South Carolina Insurance News Service at 803-252-3455 or use our contact form.