TRENTON, N.J.— Homes in high-risk flood areas are not the only ones that need flood insurance. Approximately one of every four flood disasters occur in an area with low-to moderate-risk of flooding. Floods can happen anywhere, anytime—not just near the coast, lakes and rivers, warns the Professional Insurance Agents of New Jersey.
Springtime is particularly dangerous for flooding. Torrential rain, snowmelt and mudslides all can cause flood losses. “Unless you have flood insurance, you probably are not covered for these potential catastrophes,” says Lloyd ‘Rip’ Bush, CPIA, PIANJ president. “Generally, coverage provided by a standard home or business policy does not include damage caused by flooding or mudslides. There are a few endorsements that can help with water backup but don’t be fooled into a false sense of security that they will cover your flood damage. This type of damage could be extremely destructive to your property and without the proper insurance coverage, you could be devastated financially.”
PIA encourages homeowners to prepare for flooding by heeding storm warnings and follow evacuation procedures such as boarding up windows; shutting off utilities and preparing an emergency kit that contains food and water; a portable can opener; clothing, blankets;
“Of course, no preventative measures offer complete protection,” says Bush. “The best defense always will be the right insurance coverage. With very few exceptions, such as a lender requiring coverage on a brand new house, you must wait 30 days before coverage becomes effective in the National Flood Insurance Program. Some private markets offer a lesser waiting period but you need to work with your professional, independent insurance agent to get the coverage you need to protect you from the devastation flooding can cause.”
Working with a Professional Insurance Agent offers you a choice of insurance products from a variety of carriers; shops for the best insurance coverage for you; gives knowledgeable and objective advice on complex insurance decisions; and lives in your community and supports local efforts. Look for the PIA logo to find a professional, independent insurance agent.
PIANJ is a trade association representing professional, independent insurance agencies, brokerages and their employees throughout the state.