Last week’s tragic floods in Louisiana have caused 13 deaths, damaged more than 40,000 homes, and displaced tens of thousands. While initially underreported by the national media, the storm is being called the worst natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy.
Unfortunately, the devastation caused by the flooding will be much harder to recover from for the many homeowners in Louisiana who do not have flood insurance. While it’s unclear how many flooding victims were uninsured, so far just over 9,000 people have filed flood insurance claims. That means many will go without the benefits of flood insurance, and will instead have to rely on disaster assistance, which is much more limited.
For homeowners in the New York City area, especially those who live near the water, news coverage of the Louisiana flooding can bring back painful memories of the extreme, unprecedented loss of life and property damage the region experienced during Hurricane Sandy.
However, it should also serve as very urgent reminder for homeowners: as we reach peak hurricane season, now is the time to buy flood insurance! This is especially important because of climate change, which will cause more extreme weather events and worsen the impacts of rising sea levels.
Here’s what New York City homeowners need to know about flood insurance:
- Homeowner’s insurance does NOT cover damage caused by flooding. You need a separate flood insurance policy in addition to your homeowner’s insurance policy to protect yourself.
- Not sure if your property is at risk of flooding? Visit FloodHelpNY.org to learn more about your flood risk and flood zone.
- If you live in the high-risk flood zone, your mortgage servicer should have already required you to purchase flood insurance. But even if you’re not required to purchase flood insurance, it is still an essential investment that will pay off when flooding hits.
- If you live in a lower-risk area, it’s still a good idea to buy flood insurance. You might even qualify for very low flood insurance rates, which can cost as little as $146/year.
Make sure you’re protected from the next storm. Visit FloodHelpNY.org for more help on flood insurance.