For Immediate Release
Contact: Katie Geer 803-737-5913
June 1st will bring the start of hurricane season, which means the risk of floods will come soon too. Even if you do not live in a high-risk flood area, heavy rain from storms can cause severe flood damage.
To reduce your risk of struggling to recover from flood damage, Ray Farmer, the Director of the South Carolina Department of Insurance, is strongly urging all South Carolina consumers to consider buying flood insurance.
“Buying flood insurance is an important way to protect your home and belongings from storm damage, even for those who aren’t required to do so by their mortgage lender,” said Director Farmer. “In fact, 20% of the National Flood Insurance Program’s flood claims come from consumers who live in areas across our country that are not considered high-risk flood areas.”
According to Director Farmer, there is a good rule of thumb for deciding if you should consider flood insurance.
“If it rains at your house, you’re at risk for flood damage,” Director Farmer said.
In the last 10 years, flooding cost the U.S. $40.3 billion in damages according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA). Those damages are not covered under the standard homeowner’s policies and while FEMA does assist with recovery from a disaster that has been declared a state of emergency, the money most consumers receive is just a small fraction of what they will need to be made whole again.
For example, when Hurricane Harvey hit in 2017, the average amount of a FEMA grant payout was a mere $4,300. When just one inch of water can cause up to $25,000 in damages, FEMA grant funds are just a drop in the bucket. Purchasing flood insurance protects you from costly damages that you could otherwise end up having to pay out of pocket.
Consumers are encouraged to talk to their insurance agent about this important coverage and to learn more about their options. Flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) by calling 1-800-621-FEMA (3362) and through some private insurance companies. The NFIP and most private insurance companies impose a waiting period before coverage will take effect, so consumers are encouraged to act now to ensure they have coverage in place before hurricane season starts.