Flooding: Everyone is Exposed, Few are Insured, But New Options Entice

Flooding is the most common and costly type of disaster in the United States, yet very few property owners are even partially insured for flood loss. 1 The federal government and private insurers are working to change that by promoting the development and purchase of private market flood insurance. There has been some progress to date, but the “take-up” rate for flood coverage still lags far behind the exposure. During the two biggest flood events of the past decade —“Superstorm” Sandy which struck the Northeast in 2012, and Hurricane Harvey which inundated the Houston area in 2017 — fewer than 20 percent of the homes affected had flood insurance. 2 FLOODING: Everyone is Exposed, Few are Insured, But New Options Entice Disasters of all types have increased in recent years, but none more so than flooding. Once associatedmainly with coastal and vulnerable lowland areas, floods are now impacting regions where they have never historically been considered a significant threat. Compounding the devastation wherever flooding occurs has been the fact that flood damages are not covered in a standard homeowner or commercial insurance policy unless additional flood coverage is offered through a specific endorsement. Most commonly a property owner’s only recourse has been to purchase the protection through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). But that is changing. As author Joseph Harrington explains in this issue of Adjusting Today,® while the NFIP continues to be a viable option, the availability of coverage fromprivate insurers is growing. Mr. Harrington discusses the protection private insurers are offering and compares it to the features of the federal program. It is vital reading for all of those who now face the more widespread risk of flooding. Sheila E. Salvatore Editor FROM THE EDITOR publication years in + ADJUSTINGTODAY ® Adjusters International Disaster Recovery Consulting By Joseph S. Harrington, CPCU, ARP