Facing the Fury: The importance of getting flood insurance before a storm hits

By: Andrew Chung

Related Story

As we are all too aware in the Valley, flooding rains can come with — or without — a hurricane, and rising water can cause serious damage to your home.

Regular homeowners’ or renters’ policy does not cover that damage.

Meteorologist Andrew Chung tells us why getting flood insurance before the storm hits is so important.

Back in 2018, when the June floods hit, Mary Colon Cruz and her husband didn't have flood insurance for their Weslaco home. That's something she regrets.

"In fact, all the neighbors around here do regret it, 'cause I don't think any of them had flood insurance," Cruz said.

FEMA helped Mary and her husband cover some of the damages after the floods, but it still wasn't enough.

"We had to put a lot of money out of our pockets,” Cruz said.

Rebekah Nelson, a spokesperson for USAA, says flood insurance is a separate policy from homeowner's insurance.

"Each insurance company is different,” Nelson said. “Flood policies take 30 days to go into effect.”

In addition, once a named storm enters the Gulf, crossing the 80-20 line, insurance companies will stop writing new flood policies for homeowners.

That's why now is the time to get flood insurance.

"The reason why we say flood insurance is so important is because if it can rain, it can flood,” Nelson said. “And so rising water, meaning from rain, is typically covered on a flood policy."

When thinking about flood insurance, consider this: Is your home or apartment near a body of water, like a canal or river? If that's the case, it won't take much for that water to spill over during a hurricane or any other rain event.

"Even if you're not in a declared flood zone, flood insurance is extremely important, because you have those 100-year, 500-year floods that do happen, so you may not think you need it, but you probably do,” Nelson said.

Nelson asks homeowners to review their insurance every year, and take photos of items inside their home.

If you rent, don't forget about renter's insurance.

Mary did get flood insurance after the June 2018 floods, and so far, her home has been ok.

"I would say get it, because it's worth it,” Cruz said.


7 Days