Less than one-fifth of U.S. homeowners have flood insurance, group says
Less than one-fifth of U.S. homeowners have flood insurance to protect their property and personal belongings, even though more than four out of every five natural disasters nationwide involve flooding, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
A 2011 poll by the Insurance Information Institute found that 14 percent of U.S. homeowners had flood insurance. Regionally, the number of homeowners with flood insurance ranged from 19 percent in the South to 5 percent in the Northeast.
Coverage for flood damage resulting from surface water, including storm surge caused by hurricanes, is excluded under standard homeowner’s and renter’s insurance policies. However, flood coverage is available from the National Flood Insurance Program and a few private insurance companies.
“People tend to underestimate the risk of flooding,” Jeanne Salvatore, senior vice president of the Insurance Information Institute, says in a news release. “A low risk from flooding does not mean there is no risk. Even those who do not live in an area at high risk for flooding should talk to their (insurance) agent or company representative about getting flood insurance.”
The National Flood Insurance Program provides coverage for up to $250,000 for your home and $100,000 for your belongings. Flood insurance also is available for renters.
The average flood insurance policy in 2010 cost $594 a year for $220,577 worth of coverage, according to Salvatore. The average amount of a flood insurance claim in 2010 was $26,067.