Winter is S(no)w More: Advice for Business Owners During Spring Flooding
Right now, the news is filled with stories about the devastating flooding that is happening in the Midwest. Those of us in the Northeast are getting ready to embrace spring temperatures after a cold winter. But with springtime comes flooding, typically caused by spring rain and melting snow. Two weeks ago, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) released their 2019 U.S. Spring Flood Outlook.
They say that much of the U.S. east of the Mississippi River is at risk for minor flooding which usually means “minimal or no property damage, but possibility some public threat (e.g., inundation of roads).” This is definitely a relief! But this is as good a time as any to talk about flood insurance, as floods are the number one natural disaster in the U.S.
Many commercial property packages typically do not cover or restrict coverage for flood or surface water damage. This is why flood insurance is critical for businesses located near a river, ocean, or bay, or in areas where major storms are common. Also don’t forget to make sure warehouses and branch locations are also covered. Coverage for flooding is widely available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Policies can be purchased through insurance agents nationwide. In addition to investing in flood coverage, it’s wise for business owners to understand the principal types of flood risks and how they may affect property. It’s also important to make sure your flood policy does not lapse.
FEMA has created the NFIP Summary of Coverage for Commercial Property to help business owners understand flood insurance policies. For non-residential business and other non-residential buildings, the maximums are $500,000 each for building and contents. A flood insurance policy covers direct physical damage to your building or its contents by or from a flood. They provide the following example:
Damages caused by a sewer backup are covered if the backup is a direct result of flooding. If the backup is caused by some other problem, the damages are not covered by your flood policy.
Rose & Kiernan, Inc. can assist with a review of potential flood exposures at each of your business locations and to help better understand your flood policy. If you need more coverage, there are excess flood markets available through private carriers. We maintain strong relationships with carriers that have the ability to respond to these catastrophic exposures, and can help determine if a flood policy is a smart choice or necessary investment for your business.