Each year from June to November, the storm hunters emerge on the Atlantic coast. Its hurricane season and scientists, climatologists and news weather desks will spend millions of dollars tracking hurricane activity. Meanwhile, a mostly ignored weather phenomenon called atmospheric rivers whirling over the Pacific will cause over 80 percent of the flood damage on the West Coast. These long rivers transport water vapor with twice the flow of the Amazon River—the world's largest river.
From coast to coast, an increase in natural disasters that cause flooding is leading to a sharp rise in insurance claims. Because home and business insurance policies do not typically cover flood damage or water backup from sewage and drainage, separate policies are required. These policies can vary greatly across terms, and therefore more issues can arise during the claim settlement process. They are keeping public adjusters busy ensuring storms do not also leave insurance adjustment cost destruction in the path of homes and businesses.
Lowering Insurance Costs Through Adaptive Flood Measures
Residents and businesses can lower flood damage and costs through preventive flood control measures. These may include landscaping to control flood plains and water runoff, flood-proofing buildings, raising structures above land, drainage and pumping systems, and other adaptation changes.
Public adjuster services, typically consulted after flood damage to negotiate the claim on your behalf, can also be consulted while retrofitting your property. Owing to the complexities of flood damage claims, public adjusters are often called in to help businesses and residences troubleshoot issues with the insurance company and get the best settlement for their claims.
Preparing for the Next Flood Season
High flood damage is expected this year. The forecasted annual costs of flood damage caused by hurricanes and storms is $54 billion. Of that amount, households are expected to incur $34 billion in losses and businesses $9 billion. Climate warming is expected to bring an increase in the number and intensity of hurricanes and often ferocious atmospheric rivers. Since October, over 40 atmospheric rivers have hit the West Coast. These Amazonian rivers were also responsible for high flood levels in central states last year.
Population growth and spread into lower populated areas where more flooding occurs is expected to lead to higher flood damage costs. If you are flooded, adaptation work on your property can reduce the extent of flooding and help the area dry up faster, conditions necessary for an insurance and public adjuster to evaluate the damage and begin repairs.