Storm Surge Coverage


WRITTEN BY: Mark Romero

UPDATED: JANUARY 10, 2023 | 1 MIN READ

Storm surges can be hazardous and can affect residents all along coastlines throughout the country. As a homeowner, you’ll want to know if your home is protected against surges and what it means for your insurance premiums. Below we’ll review all things storm surge and what this weather event can do to your insurance rates.

Storm surge – what is it?

Storm surges are natural weather events where storm winds push water toward shorelines and can raise tides by more than 15 feet. They can wreak havoc in coastal zones and are often one of the worst side effects of a significant storm.

Storm surges are the top killer in hurricanes. It creates a mighty force and is worse than floodwater in a river. These surges create mega waves that come crashing down and can wipe out everything in it’s path, including residents’ homes which can sustain enormous amounts of property damage. Storm surges often accompany natural disasters such as hurricanes and tropical storms.

Does homeowners insurance cover storm surge damage?

The standard homeowners’ insurance policy or renters insurance won’t cover flood damage, whether you deal with flooding from a storm surge or any other means. However, you can buy a separate flood insurance policy. Flood insurance is available through a private flood insurance company or the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

It’s important to know that with flood insurance coverage, you’ll have a 30-day waiting period before the coverage takes effect. So, if you attempt to purchase this just a couple of days before a massive hurricane hits, you won’t have flood coverage in the event of a storm surge.

How much flood insurance should I have?

The National Flood Insurance Program flood policies offer insurance coverage up to $250,000 for your dwelling. On top of dwelling coverage, NFIP policies also provide up to $100,000 in contents coverage, contributing to the loss of your personal belongings. NFIP coverage will offer replacement costs for the damage to your home because of water damage but actual cash value for personal possessions.

Which private insurance companies are best for flood coverage?

While many insurance companies may have some flood coverage, not all policies are created equal. Some of the most popular insurance companies with the best rates include the following:

  • GEICO
  • Assurance
  • USAA
  • Neptune 
  • Better Flood Insurance
  • FloodSimple Insurance

What areas are most at-risk for storm surge damage?

Coastline areas are the most at risk for storm surge damage. However, they have been known to reach more inland areas up to 25 miles away from the coast. Florida, New York, and Louisiana have the most single-family homes along coastlines at potential risk of storm surge damage.

When you buy your home, one of the first things you’ll want to do is research whether you’re in a flood-prone zone or not. Often, residents in coastal areas may have more issues finding affordable insurance coverage in regions more prone to storm surges and coastal flooding. 

Do storm surges cause a lot of damage?

Storm surges can create significant structural damage to homes and businesses and destroy towns. Even if the after in your house appears minimal, it can create enormous amounts of damage.

Just one inch of water can cost you tens of thousands of dollars in repairs and cleaning costs. Flood insurance is essential in areas prone to storm surges since the average policyholder is not in a position to fork out tens of thousands of dollars for home repairs.

FAQs

Does insurance cover storm surge damage?

Storm surge damage is covered by insurance. However, it does not have it’s own category of insurance coverage. Surge damage coverage falls under flood insurance policies

Is storm surge considered flood damage?

Yes, your insurance policy covers storm surge damage under your flood insurance policy and considers the damage flood damage. Most homeowners insurance policies don’t include this coverage, though.

How far inland can a storm surge reach?

Storm surges can reach up to 25 miles inland. It can wreak havoc on entire communities, destroying all in it’s path.

How do you calculate storm surge?

Surges are calculated by measuring water levels. Experts subtract normal water levels from measured water levels following the storm. 

What is storm surge coverage?

Flood insurance covers storm surges. Most homeowners insurance policies won’t automatically include this coverage.

How does a hurricane’s size affect the amount of storm surge?

The size of a hurricane significantly impacts the amount of surge residents can expect. The larger the storm, the bigger the waves, which creates a more considerable storm surge. 

What’s the difference between storm surges and tidal flooding?

Storm surges are rising water above average tides caused by storms. They are hazardous and cause tidal flooding is temporary flooding in low-lying and high-risk areas near the coast and other flood zones. 

What are the warning signs of storm surge?

Warning signs of storm surges can include intense flooding in relation to a storm’s landfall destination. Dark clouds, extreme temperature changes, animal behavior, and strong winds often indicate the potential for a giant storm that could bring a storm surge. 

What is a storm surge map?

A storm surge map depicts areas more prone to surges. They allow residents to recognize whether they reside in an area that could face potential surges.

What is the average cost of storm surge damage?

Surge damage is costly to clean up and repair. Only one inch of water within a 2,500-square-foot home can cost tens of thousands of dollars in damage. Twelve inches can cost around $72,000 in damages.

Do you have current flood insurance?

Ensuring your home and belongings are well-protected is our number one priority. While it may cost you a bit more, it could save you thousands of dollars and countless hours of stress. If you’re currently searching for a comprehensive home insurance policy or are ready to add flood insurance, give our insurance agents a call today or complete our online rate form. We’ll ensure you’re protected against incoming storm surges.