Get Started: Many businesses uninsured for flood damage

FLOOD INSURANCE BASICS

When hurricanes or rivers swollen by heavy rains send floodwaters into businesses, many owners are left with steep financial losses because they didn't have flood insurance.

Standard business insurance doesn't cover flood damage, something many owners may not realize when they buy a policy. Flood insurance, which is regulated by the federal government, must be purchased separately through a broker or an insurance company.

Many owners don't buy flood insurance because of its cost or the belief that they don't need it. In high-risk areas, annual premiums can run into the thousands of dollars and rise by double-digit percentages each year. Owners in low-lying areas or near oceans and rivers often know they're at risk, but many can't afford the premiums.

Just because a company is located far from the coast or a body of water doesn't mean it's immune from the possibility of flooding. Heavy rains like those that fell on Houston following Hurricane Harvey last month can also cause flooding that can be covered by flood insurance. So can melting snow and blocked storm drains. Businesses without flood insurance won't be covered.

During a hurricane, damage caused by water pouring into a hole in a wind-torn roof is covered, but not the destruction caused by floodwaters that come in through a window or door. More than half the businesses and homes in the Houston flooded during and after Harvey were estimated to be uninsured for flood losses, according to CoreLogic, a research company.

Flood insurance is mandatory for some companies, those that are in high-risk areas and that have mortgages from lenders regulated or insured by the federal government.

You can find information online about flood insurance, including maps showing an area's flood risk, at the National Flood Insurance Program website, www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program . The Insurance Information Institute, an industry group, also has information at www.iii.org . Some state and local governments, particularly those in high-risk areas, also have information on their websites.

HELP FOR WOMEN OWNERS

Women business owners who find it hard to get financing for their companies can learn about their options at an online seminar sponsored by SCORE, the organization that gives free counseling to small companies. The seminar will be held Thursday, Oct. 5 at 1 p.m. Eastern time. You can learn more and register at http://bit.ly/2yCIx7l .

_____

Follow Joyce Rosenberg at www.twitter.com/JoyceMRosenberg . Her work can be found here: https://apnews.com/search/joyce%20rosenberg

You may also interested in

3 years into nation's hemp experiment, crop's future is hazy

Aug 12, 2016

Three years into the nation's hemp experiment, the crop's hazy market potential is starting to come into focus

APNewsBreak: California may beef up electric vehicle mandate

Aug 13, 2016

California lawmaker to introduce legislation requiring 15 percent of all new vehicles be zero emission by 2025 as state aims to ramp up climate change efforts

Home Depot rides housing boom to record sales, profit

Aug 16, 2016

Home Depot posted record sales and earnings during its second quarter and raised its profit expectations for the year as housing market continues to warm up

People also read these

Clinton releases 2015 tax returns, pushing Trump for his

Aug 13, 2016

A tax filing released by Hillary Clinton's campaign shows that Clinton and her husband earned $10.6 million last year

Asian stocks drift pending fresh news; oil takes a breather

Aug 16, 2016

Asian stock markets drifted sideways on Tuesday as the price of oil took a breather from a three-day rally

Dakota Access pipeline owners sue North Dakota protesters

Aug 15, 2016

Developers of a $3.8 billion, four-state oil pipeline are asking a federal judge to order protesters in North Dakota to stop interfering with the project

Weather, 20 December
Houston Weather
+7

High: +11° Low: -2°

Humidity: 83%

Wind: NNE - 7 KPH

Canberra Weather
+27

High: +27° Low: +17°

Humidity: 87%

Wind: W - 20 KPH

Roissy-en-France Weather
+6

High: +6° Low: -5°

Humidity: 87%

Wind: ENE - 7 KPH

Florence Weather
+9

High: +9° Low: +6°

Humidity: 97%

Wind: ENE - 17 KPH

Parga Weather
+7

High: +16° Low: +4°

Humidity: 100%

Wind: SE - 25 KPH