As Harvey continues to devastate Houston with its relentless rain, hundreds of thousands of displaced homeowners worry about the fate of their property. Some may be wishing they did more to protect it, while some Connecticut homeowners may be wondering about their own policy.
Houston has received more rain in the past three days than what Connecticut averages per year.
New England isn’t immune to a Harvey-like storm, and should it ever see one, many people who lives in areas similar to what’s now underwater in Texas run an often overlooked risk.
FEMA designates its high risk areas as 100-year flood zones. Homes in those areas have a one percent chance of flooding in any given year. Those homeowners are required to have flood insurance.
It’s very likely that many of Harvey’s victims did not, because that is a one-in-1,000-year flood.
“A lot of the people in the Houston and Texas area, they’re not in flood zones,” said Connecticut Department of Insurance Director of Consumer Affairs Gerard O’Sullivan. “So it’s those people who want to look into having flood insurance to cover any possible damage that might occur.”
Many Connecticut towns have both 100 and 1,000 year flood areas, but only 13 percent of homeowners in the Northeast have flood insurance.
O’Sullivan advises homeowners read their homeowner insurance policy to see what it does and does not cover, and consider getting flood insurance if you live near any kind of water—creeks and brooks included.
The average flood insurance policy costs $700 per year, with many policies are cheaper outside of the 100-year flood zone.