In Norfolk and the greater Tidewater region, there is plenty of water around. You probably know that when it rains, our low, flat elevation tends to make it easy for water to puddle up. It’s only an inconvenience until areas begin to flood. Water can rise quickly, and when it does, it could cause significant property damage if it ever encroaches on your business. That’s why you need flood insurance—it can help you recover from severe commercial flooding. However, you might wonder if you really need this coverage?
It doesn’t matter if your business has never flooded before or if you don’t face many flood risks in your neighborhood. That doesn’t mean a flood can’t happen. Business owners who have flood insurance likely will find it a great benefit in case water damage occurs.
The Costs of Business Flooding
Even if a small amount of water floods into your business, it might cause large, costly damages. FEMA estimated that between 2011 – 2015, floods in commercial spaces caused an average of $90,000 in damage (per business). Some of the damage you might face includes:
- Structure and foundation damage
- Damage to contents of the business, including products
- Mold growth and pest infestation risks
But the sad fact is that nearly all business insurance policies don’t cover damage caused by weather-related flooding. Only in limited cases of internal flooding, like burst pipes, might you be able to make a claim on your regular coverage.
However, business owners can’t receive coverage from cases of storm surge, flash flooding or river swells under their standard policy. To receive this coverage, you might have to buy commercial flood insurance. It can usually contain coverage for both the business’s structure and possessions within. The coverage will contain strict limits and won’t cover as many assets as your standard business coverage. Still, it can greatly reduce your out-of-pocket burden should flooding occur.
Do I have to buy flood insurance?
Most flood insurance policies are sold through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is supported by FEMA and the U.S. government. Policies come with very strict regulations, including the requirement for some businesses to buy coverage.
You must buy a flood insurance policy if:
- Your business is located in a high-risk flood zone, and;
- The business has a mortgage provided by a federally-regulated or federally-insured lender
These rules exist for various reasons, but primarily, they are supposed to help those who face high risks of flooding be able to support themselves in case floods occur.
However, even if you don’t face a requirement to buy coverage, you should still consider it essential, especially if you live in a flood zone. Flood zones are designated areas that have the highest chances of floods occurring. If you work in this area, you might actually find that you can use flood insurance.
Also Read: Hurricane Season Means FLOOD Season