Well under 20% of U.S. homeowners have flood insurance, according to the Insurance Information Institute. That figure is especially alarming as climate change, which experts say is linked to an increase in the kind of extreme weather that devastated the Gulf Coast and Northeast this week, exposes millions more Americans to risk.
Homeowners across the U.S. can expect to pay out $20 billion for flood damage this year, according to research from the nonprofit First Street Foundation. The dollar amount is about four times what Americans spent repairing flood damage in the 1980s, reflecting the impact of more erratic weather patterns driven by climate change.
“What we see time and again is floods don’t know to stop at the lines we draw on a map,” John Dickson, CEO of private flood insurer Aon Edge. “Ida traveled inland and didn’t abate. It continued to drop rain, and you had flooding events transpire last night and into the morning in areas that are not known for flooding, including parts of New Jersey and New York City.”
Homeowner’s insurance typically covers damage caused by high winds or trees that might have fallen on a structure’s roof. Flooding is not usually covered. Only if a home’s roof is torn off, allowing rain to pour in, would a home insurance policy typically cover damage.
Continue Reading At: