As the state of Pennsylvania prepares for weather forecasts ranging from snow to cloudy to pouring rain, we want to take the time to urge all homeowners to evaluate how protected they would be in the case of a flood.
Each year, flooding is caused by heavy rains, melting snow, inadequate drainage systems, failed protective devices such as levees and dams, and tropical storms and hurricanes. While people living in the areas most likely to experience a flood are legally obligated to purchase flood insurance, lower-risk areas are often left believing that they don’t need flood insurance at all.
The reality, though, is that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) recommends that even houses in low flood risk areas have flood coverage. This is because – as highlighted by stats on FloodSmart – nearly 25% of all flood losses occur in low-to moderate-risk zones.
This means that while some areas are at a higher risk than others, the truth is that in the United States, everyone lives in a potential flood zone – floods and flash floods can happen in all 50 states, in any area, at any time. And they do occur more often than we might realize; statistics from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) reveal that within an average 30-year mortgage timeline, a homeowner has a 9 percent chance of making a claim for fire damage, compared with a 26 percent chance of making a flood damage claim.
But despite the risk of flooding across the nation, and although it only takes one-inch of water to potentially cause thousands of dollars in damages, the majority of homeowner insurance policies don’t cover flood damage at all. This means that for many people living outside of high-risk zones, a single faulty drainage system or heavy downpour could potentially result in massive out-of-pocket expenses.
So this year, as the snow begins to melt and the rain begins to roll in, be prepared: make sure that you’re not left to pay for these potential damages out of pocket should disaster strike. And if flood insurance is a new area for you, then we strongly encourage you to schedule a personal assistance meeting with one of our Fisher Widmann Flick Insurance Agency staff or representatives.
We are all specially trained and ready to help evaluate your policy options to ensure that what you select will keep you on your feet in the event of flooding. Whether you’re in Johnstown or any other area in central Pennsylvania – and whether you need an entirely new policy or to update the one you already have – we’re here to help you. Our representatives in Blaire County, Cambria County, Somerset, Latrobe, or in any other nearby counties are all ready to work with you so that you can go about your day knowing that in the event of the unusual, your insurance will keep you high and dry.