Mitigating Risk with Flood Insurance

Floods are our nation’s most common and costly disaster. One average, they cost the country $8.2 billion each year. While this hurricane season has left incredible damage and heartache in its wake, flood insurance can protect your buildings and contents from damage caused by rising water from a flood. As we continue the recovery process as a community, we’d like to provide answers to our most commonly asked questions. We’ll also share a few resources to help you make the most informed decisions for your business.

As always, our flood insurance specialists are here to answer any questions you may have, whether it’s your business or your own home that’s concerning you.

 

  • What’s the official definition of a flood?
    A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of 2 or more acres of normally dry land area or of 2 or more properties (at least one of which is the policyholder’s property) from:
    –Overflow of inland or tidal waters; or
    –Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source; or
    –Mudflow; or
    –Collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or similar body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels that result in a flood as defined above.

 

  • I have commercial property insurance. Does that cover flood damage?
    Probably not. Damage from flooding, including flooding generated by hurricane-generated storm surge, is not typically covered under a standard commercial policy, including a Commercial Package Policy (CPP) or a Business Owners Policy (BOP).

 

  • What does flood insurance cover?
    A commercial flood insurance policy is designed to protect your business if your floors, walls, ceilings and fixtures as well as furniture, inventory and business property sustain floodwater damage. This includes losses to your building and contents resulting from water overflowing rivers or streams, heavy or prolonged rain, storm surge, snow melt, blocked storm drainage systems, broken dams or levees, or other similar causes. To be considered a flood, waters must cover at least two acres or affect two properties. Generally if water comes from above — for instance from rain or melting snow that leaks onto your inventory — you’ll be covered by your standard commercial property insurance.

 

  • Does coverage start immediately?
    Typically, the government requires a 30-day waiting period on new flood insurance policies. This is why it’s so important to buy a flood policy well before a potential flood event is headed your way.

 

  • How much coverage can I get?
    Commercial flood insurance provides up to $500,000 of coverage for your building and up to $500,000 for its contents.

 

  • What if that isn’t enough?
    You can purchase excess insurance coverage to rebuild properties valued above National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) limits. Excess coverage includes protection against business interruption.

 

  • How do I make sure I’m adequately covered?
    It may be easier and more affordable than you think. Give us a call and speak with one of our flood specialists to determine the best way to protect your investments from flood damage. We’re eager to answer any questions and will quickly provide you with a quote to consider.

    Flood Specialist Teri Holley: 713.292.5749
    Hotchkiss Insurance Main: 713.956.9800

 

 

Resources

Five Ways to Lower Your Insurance Premium

The FEMA Map Service Center allows you to view a detailed, digital flood hazard map of your area. Our flood specialists can help you interpret it and answer any questions.

How to File a Flood Claim

Flood Facts: Source, FEMA.gov