It took less than a month to the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season to become among the worst in recorded history.
The storm surge increased water and tides over 12 feet above ground level in some areas. Harvey shattered rain records as it meandered for days, with some areas getting over 40 inches of rain in less than two days.
According to investigators, Irma is among the strongest storms to roam the Atlantic Basin in over a decade. Irma had sustained winds of 185 mph for 37 hours, that is the longest any cyclone anywhere in the world has maintained that level of intensity.
The whole island suffered catastrophic damage. In certain places the damage was complete.
As an independent insurance broker residing and working in South Florida for more than 30 years, preparing for and recovering after storms is nothing new. However this year was different. Since Hurricane Irma was making its way toward the southeastern coast of america, we received an unprecedented number of calls regarding flood insurance. Why?
Everyone saw the devastating flooding in Texas due to Hurricane Harvey only a couple weeks earlier. The damage was catastrophic. So was the news that almost 80 percent of homeowners in the counties most directly affected by flood didn’t have flood insurance.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), floods are the most frequent and costliest natural catastrophe.
Regrettably, too many homeowners and businesses refuse to carry flood insurance only as they’re not found in a high-risk flooding zone. Hurricane Harvey taught us that when it comes to flood, mother nature does not listen to FEMA’s flood zone maps.
Flood zones are constantly being re-mapped, but it is a lengthy process which can take years. Upgraded maps quickly become obsolete. Additionally, the practice of identifying property that’s susceptible to flooding isn’t a perfect science.
Localized drainage problems;
topographic variances on individual properties; or
the failure of flood control systems.
This is the reason why everyone needs to seriously consider flood insurance, no matter whether they can be found in a high-risk flooding zone. Premiums are relatively affordable, especially when you consider the risks assumed by a flood insurance policy, like the:
overflow of inland or tidal waters;
collapse of property along a body of water from waves or waves; and
rapid accumulation of surface waters from any source, such as blocked storm drains and broken water pipes under the surface of the earth.
Uninsured flood damage can devastate any residence or business. Over the course of only a couple weeks, we have seen the landfall of not one, not two, but three hurricanes which rank among the strongest storms in recorded history. This is the reason those relying upon flood zone maps to justify their decision to not buy flood insurance should seriously reconsider.