Crazy Weather and what You Need to Know about Flood Insurance

What we don’t see is how businesses and individuals deal with the financial impact of a flood.


WFM Staff  ·  September 11, 2017

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In the past weeks, we’ve all seen pictures of people stranded on top of their homes or someone paddling down the street in a boat or kayak. What we don’t see is how businesses and individuals deal with the financial impact of a flood.

Whether you’re a pastor of a church or a facilities manager, the congregation looks to you to protect their church.
You work with the board and an insurance specialist to design an insurance program that helps reach that goal. However, most insurance policies covering your buildings and contents don’t provide coverage for damage by flooding. In fact, flood is specifically excluded in most insurance contracts. So, what do you do?

The first thing to know is what constitutes a flood. In its simplest definition, a flood is rising water or flowing mud on land that is normally dry. It must include two or more properties, or two or more acres. It can also include collapse of land along the shore of a lake or similar body of water as a result of erosion caused by waves or currents of water. (Coverage subject to NFIP policy terms, conditions and exclusions.)

In spite of the common belief, a flood is not water from a broken pipe or water that comes in from a hole in your roof. Normally a backup of sewer or drain pipes is not be considered a flood, either.

Another common misconception is that your building/property must be located near a body of water such as a river, stream or lake to risk suffering a flood. However, the determination of a flood zone has more to do with the path water takes in flooding situations. A street, wash or gully that is normally dry can become a raging torrent with little or no warning during a heavy rain or if a river or canal overflows its banks or breaks a levy.

How do you determine your faclity’s risk of suffering a flood loss? Working with the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA), communities have developed flood maps to help estimate how often a location is likely to suffer a flood loss. These maps indicate whether a property is located in a flood zone. The zone number assigns a value to the flood potential.

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