10 October 2016
It was only a few months ago when 517 homes and businesses were damaged by flooding in Norwood and St. Bernard. Significant damage also occurred in a number of Cincinnati neighborhoods, including Avondale, Bond Hill, Paddock Hills, Hyde Park and Oakley. In most cases, structures weren’t considered complete losses. However, that doesn’t mean the damage wasn’t costly for a home or business owner to fix. Many people had to deal with handling water damage caused by having anywhere from several inches to feet of water in their basements.
Although this was a very unfortunate event for everyone who was affected, it’s an important reminder of the need for flood insurance in Cincinnati. Even though flooding isn’t a constant issue in the state of Ohio like it is in others states such as Florida, it does happen. And when a flood strikes, the water damage caused can be very expensive to fix. Given that a standard homeowner’s insurance policy won’t cover this form of damage, we’re going to dig into what you need to know about protecting yourself with flood insurance.
The purpose of flood insurance is to provide coverage against floods associated with events like heavy rain or rapid snow melt. This type of insurance has been available in the United States since 1968. Flood insurance became available when Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The NFIP, which is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, allows homeowners, renters and business owners to purchase flood insurance through private property and casualty insurance agents.
Qualifying for this type of insurance requires a home or business owner to be in a community that has joined the NFIP and has agreed to enforce sound floodplain management standards. Most communities in the state of Ohio qualify for this program. FEMA estimates that there are around 280,000 structures in Ohio’s mapped floodplain areas. Even though these structures have a combined value of $11 billion, only about 10% are currently protected by flood insurance.
Anyone considering flood insurance needs to be aware of the fact that there’s generally a 30-day waiting period between when this type of insurance is purchased and when it goes into effect. Another important detail is flood insurance typically won’t cover sump pump failures or sewer backups. In terms of how much can be insured, the standard thresholds are $250,000 for homes and $500,000 for businesses. Excess flood insurance is available for both homes and businesses that exceed those thresholds.
If you have any additional questions about flood insurance for your Cincinnati home or office, don’t hesitate to give us a call at 513-587-3553.