Flood insurance worth considering as Hurricane Dorian approaches east coast


RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – Hurricane Dorian’s track remains unsure. As of Monday afternoon, the storm could bring a significant amount of rain to parts of North Carolina later in the week.

Many in North Carolina learned last year during hurricanes Florence and Michael that storms like these can bring flooding even to those who aren’t near a floodplain.

That means that even those who don’t normally deal with flooding should look into flood insurance.

Hurricanes Florence and Michael hit one after the other in 2018. They caused more than $17 billion in damage.

“Flooding is the most common natural disaster in America,” said John Mills with FEMA.

Florence was the wettest storm this state ever experienced.

During the several days when it stalled over the state last year, the National Weather Service estimated it dropped 8 trillion gallons of water that swamped entire communities, farms, highways, businesses, and homes.

In the weeks after the storms, FEMA says those who had flood insurance found — it made a difference.

“People who had flood insurance after Hurricane Florence were able to recover faster,” Mills said.

“Regardless of where you are on the flood map—if it rains a foot in your area, it’s going to flood,” he added.

Congress created flood insurance in the late 1960s because commercial insurance companies believed it was too big a risk for them to insure homes against flooding in standard insurance policies.

Although it’s government issued, it has limits.

Flood insurance covers up to $250,000 for the structural damage and $100,000 for the contents of a home.

“Flood insurance is really your first line of defense,” said Mills.

While flood insurance is government-backed, people buy it through a local insurance agent as supplemental coverage. It takes 30 days for it to go into effect after it is purchased.

So, buying it in the next few days won’t cover any damage created by Dorian. It will, however, work for feature flood events.

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