While there is no specific flood season, flooding and flood damage usually occurs in the U.S. from spring to fall. It is also more likely to occur in areas with seasonal rainstorms or spring snowmelt. Be sure to follow the weather channel or your local news source to keep up to date about predictions in your area.

What causes spring floods and flood damage

The warming temperatures and spring rains cause snow and ice to melt rapidly, making it harder for the thawing ground to absorb rainfall. Since the water has nowhere to go, it runs off into lakes, streams, and rivers, which can cause them to overflow and flood basements, roadways, businesses, and even homes.

Another contribution to Spring floods is ice jams or ice dams. These occur when floating river ice collects in an area and blocks the progress of the ice downstream. Ice jams can slow the flow of a river and cause upstream flooding. They can even cause flash floods if the jam is suddenly released.

Who needs to be ready for a flood? 

Everyone. Whether you rent, own a home, or business, you could be at risk for a flood. Even if you have insurance to cover your home or business, they usually do not cover floods. It’s up to you to make sure you’re covered if flood damage occurs. Checking a flood map will help you understand your risk and can empower you to take steps and reduce flood damage.

How can fires increase your chance of a flood?  

Did you know properties affected by fires are at risk for flooding? Scorched soil cannot absorb water; it forms a water-repellent layer and can block water absorption for up to 5 years. This means even a light rain could turn into a flood.

Before a flood

If your area has received a flood warning or flooding has been forecast, you can take measures to help minimize flood damage and losses. The good news is that your National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) flood policy offers flood loss avoidance and will cover up to $1,000 in reasonable expenses to protect your insured property. It will also cover up to $1,000 to move your insured property away from a flood or imminent flood danger. What is eligible?

  • Sandbags, including the sand to fill them
  • Fill to create temporary levees
  • Water pumps
  • Plastic sheeting and lumber
  • Boxes and packaging materials
  • Moving, transportation, or shipping costs
  • Labor, including your own or a family member’s labor, at the federal minimum wage. Labor charged by a professional may also be reimbursed.
  • Note: The moved personal property must be placed in a fully enclosed building or otherwise protected from the elements.

If you have any questions, contact your agent BEFORE a flood has been forecast. Make sure you understand your coverage and take the proper steps to prepare.

Flood Restoration After a flood

It’s important to be safe! Only return to your home after authorities say it’s safe. Be sure to take pictures and document any damage caused by the flood before you start to clean up. You can take some steps to begin clean-up after a flood; however, you may need to call professionals to help with flood restoration.

  • Wear heavy work gloves, protective clothing, and boots during clean-up. Use appropriate face coverings or masks to clean mold or other debris. 
  • People with asthma and other lung conditions and/or immune suppression should not enter buildings with indoor water leaks or mold growth that can be seen or smelled. Children should not take part in disaster clean-up work.
  • Be aware that snakes and other animals may be in your house.
  • Be aware of the risk of electrocution. Do not touch electrical equipment if it is wet or if you are standing in water. Turn off the electricity to prevent electric shock if it is safe.
  • Avoid wading in floodwater, which can be contaminated and contain dangerous debris. Underground or downed power lines can also electrically charge the water.
  • Use a generator or other gasoline-powered machinery ONLY outdoors and away from windows.

Bankers also provides an active storm tracker with steps and resources on how to prepare for a flood. Feel free to bookmark the page in your browser for easy access.

Learn more about flood insurance

Flooding can happen in any state and is the most common natural disaster. We want to ensure you have as many resources as possible so you’re prepared when it matters. In our blog on how to protect yourself from unexpected damage, we go into detail about what an NFIP policy is and how much FEMA offers if you do experience flood damage. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact us to request a quote or speak to an agent. We’re happy to guide you through the process.

You may ask yourself, “self, do I need flood insurance?” and the not obvious answer is probably “yes.” Something many people don’t know is that flooding occurs in EVERY STATE. Correct, flooding is the only natural disaster that affects every state. 

You may also think to yourself, “I have homeowners insurance, that covers it, right?” or ” I rent.. so I don’t need flood insurance.” If only it were that simple. We’ll talk about what flooding is, its causes, who needs it, and why.

What Causes Floods?

Flooding occurs when land that is usually dry overflows or is submerged in water. It is also the most common natural disaster and is generally caused by heavy rainfall, rapid snowmelt, or storm surge from a hurricane.

Another cause of flooding is new construction and paving. It can change the lands’ ability to drain properly and cause flooding in areas that were not originally at risk. So areas initially zoned as low-risk can quickly become high-risk as new construction and development change the landscape. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a flood insurance policy.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Flood Damage?

No. No, it does not. This is a common misconception that unfortunately leaves a lot of homeowners “stranded” when a flood does occur. The same goes for business owners or renters; those insurance policies usually do not cover floods. 

If you think or are 100% certain your insurance covers flood, we recommend giving your agent a call just to confirm. What would it hurt? 

Who Needs A Flood Insurance Policy?

As mentioned above, flooding is a common natural disaster, and unexpected circumstances can cause it. So even if you don’t live on the coast, it’s a good idea to carry flood insurance or at least speak to an agent to see if it may be a good choice for you.

Home and business owners are equally at risk. You can check whether you are in a high or low-risk area using this flood map provided by FEMA. Being in a high-risk area could mean a higher rate; however, the average flood insurance claim in 2021 was $44,401. Not many home or business owners have that kind of a safety net. 

Some people may choose to rely on Federal disaster assistance, which comes in two forms. One is a loan, which must be paid back with interest, and the other is a FEMA disaster grant, which is about $5,000 on average per household. Still not going to cover that average of $44k in damage. A flood insurance policy really does provide you with peace of mind, especially when you consider that just 1 inch of floodwater can cause $25,000 in damages. 

According to FEMA, $985 was the average annual NFIP policy premium in 2021. Now, this is an average number, and your risk factor plays a role in your premium. But when the numbers to restore your home and chances of a disaster are so high – how much would you pay for the comfort of knowing your home or business is covered when the unexpected happens?

What is an NFIP Policy?

NFIP is the National Flood Insurance Program. It is managed by FEMA and is delivered to the public by a network of more than 50 insurance companies – including us! 

Flood insurance can be mandatory. The federal government requires mortgaged properties in Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) to be insured against flooding. The government sets the rates for these types of properties, so they are the same regardless of the carrier you choose. At the end of the day, it’s best to choose a carrier you trust. 

Do I Need Flood Insurance? Talk To An Agent

It’s important to understand what a flood is and the risks it poses to your home or business. We hope this blog has given you some of that information. FEMA is another great resource with countless tools that can help guide you in the right direction. But if this is all a little overwhelming, or you’d rather not do the research yourself, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us to request a quote or speak to an agent. We’re happy to guide you through the process.

What Is A Flood and What Are Flood Hazards?

With Floods being the most common natural disaster in the United States, it’s important to understand what zones require flood insurance, your chances of flooding, and making sure you have a plan in place for you, your family, and your home.

Flooding isn’t just a threat to people living near water. It happens all across the country — in all regions, in all climates, in various ways. Floods happen when there is an overflow of water onto land that is usually dry and can occur due to snow melting quickly, heavy rainfall, ocean waves coming onto shore, overflows from dams or other water systems. Flash floods are especially hazardous as they can happen within minutes and are very destructive.

Using Flood Maps To Know What Zone You’re In

Make sure you know if your home is at high-risk or low-risk of flooding by using a flood map. Living in a high-risk area means you have a 25% chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage. However, your home doesn’t have to be in a high-risk zone for you to experience flooding. Almost 25% of all Flood claims come from low to moderate-risk areas.

The odds of you experiencing flooding may seem slim. But it happens more than you’d think. In fact, 90% of all presidential-declared disasters involve flooding. Even minor flooding can mean significant financial challenges. Just a couple of inches of floodwater penetrating your home is more than enough to destroy floors, damaged walls, and ruin appliances, which could cost you thousands.

Nature isn’t the only cause of flooding either. New construction and paving can alter the lands’ ability to drain properly. As a result, run-off can increase two to six times over what would occur on natural terrain. Areas that were initially zoned as low-risk can quickly become high-risk as development changes topography.

Have A Plan – Know What Zones Require Flood Insurance

Having a plan in place for you and your family will provide peace of mind and ensure you’re prepared. When making a plan, it’ll be important to think about dietary needs, medical needs, shelter, and even plan for any fur babies. With your family safe, it’s time to think about your home and what zones require Flood insurance.

Homeowners policies may cover fire, tornado, or even earthquake damage, but they rarely cover damage from flooding. The next step would be to look into Flood insurance. There are two types of flood policies: Preferred and Standard. The flood hazard zone you live in determines the type of policy you should buy. If your property is located in a low-risk zone, you may qualify for a Preferred Risk Policy, making you eligible for coverage at a lower rate. If you live in a high-risk zone, the sooner you speak to an agent, the better, as Flood insurance has a mandatory 30-day waiting period on new flood policies.

Our agents are always here for any questions you may have and are happy to walk you through the process. Reach out to an agent or request a quote. Are you looking for more answers? We’ve got you. Our blogs are full of tips for homeowners, and one of our most recent blogs covers 6 most asked questions about homeowners insurance.