Homeowners who want coverage against flooding should have already purchased their policies.
In the human tradition of leaving things until the last minute, many families are rushing to fill their gas tanks, crowding grocery stores to stock up on the food they might need over the next little while, and are calling their insurers to find out what flood insurance they have against Hurricane Sandy.
Unfortunately, for many, inquiring about coverage is something they should have done much sooner.
Homeowners across the Northeast of the country are getting themselves ready in case the storm should hit hard in their areas, but for those that have waited until now to learn about their flood insurance, it’s now too late to protect themselves against this particular storm if the coverage was not already put into place.
Flood insurance typically needs to be in place for 30 days before it goes into effect.
The entire purpose of flood insurance coverage is to protect against unforeseen events of flooding. When a storm’s approach is being carefully tracked – as is the case with Hurricane Sandy – then it can hardly be counted among unforeseen events.
The same can be said regarding wind damage, if that has not been included in a standard homeowners policy. Though many policies do include this type of protection, it is important to check to make certain well ahead of the peril. Insurers recommend that you review your coverage once every year and make sure that you understand what it involves and that it will protect you against the right types of peril. Waiting until the storm is already at your doorstep is often too late.
It is common practice for flood insurance and homeowners policy firms to suspend new coverage when a new named storm is on its way. Once that storm has passed, they will allow the coverage to continue. They are trying to prevent customers from simply buying the policies because a certain storm is coming. This is because the protection is not intended to be for specific weather events, but is instead meant to provide coverage for something in the future that is unexpected.