Guest Editorial: Check your flood insurance plan
After the flood damage in the Manhattan area earlier this week, I’ve heard numerous reports on the local and regional news broadcasts that very few of those affected in the Manhattan apartment complex had renter’s insurance. This is a misleading report, as the damage from a flood is excluded under a standard property policy.
Flood insurance is a special policy that is federally backed by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and available for homeowners, renters and businesses through their local insurance agents.
Floods are the most common and most destructive natural disaster in the United States. Ninety percent of all natural disasters involve flooding, and all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods in the past five years, according to Floodsmart.gov.
It’s also important to note that you don’t need to live in a flood-prone area in order to experience flood damage to your property. Excessive rain like we’ve received in Northeast Kansas in the last few weeks can cause rising surface water, resulting in damage to your property.
Flood coverage exclusions in standard policies usually include wording similar to this:
• Flood, surface water, waves (including tidal waves and tsunami), tides, tidal water, overflow of any body of water, or spray from any of these, all whether or not driven by wind including storm surge
• (and more pertinent to our area) Water under the ground surface pressing on, or flowing or seeping through: 1) Foundations, walls, floors, swimming pools, or paved surfaces; 2) Basements, whether paved or not; or 3) Doors, windows, or other openings.
Review your policy and make sure you’ve got adequate coverage!