During the weekend Hurricane Florence hit the Carolinas, Georgia, and Virginia. Even as it went down to a tropical depression, it brought more flood damage than wind damage. This creates a huge problem for homeowners, as most of home insurance policies include coverage for wind damage. However, homeowners need to purchase flood insurance separately, with another insurance company, or through the National Flood Insurance Program.
Some reports indicate that the damages can be valued in tens of billions of dollars in property damage or loss. In order to fully understand the amount of damage that will result from Hurricane Florence hitting the Carolinas, Georgia, and Virginia, we need to look at the numbers. First, we need to know how many people do have flood insurance. Then we need to see how much damage has been reported. If we were affected by this hurricane, we also need to know how to proceed if we didn’t have hurricane insurance.
How Many People Have Flood Insurance?
In order to understand the magnitude of Hurricane Florence, we need to look at the numbers. The National Flood Insurance Program website offers information that can provide some insight into the matter. The number of policies in the state of Georgia, for example, is 87,693 in a state with almost 10.5 million inhabitants. This means less than 1% of the state’s population has flood insurance. The number of flood insurance policies in Virginia increases to 103,941, yet the state’s population is of 8.4 million people. Again, not even 1% of the population has flood insurance.
However, such numbers do not reflect the total amount of inhabitants and homeowners that were in the areas that Hurricane Florence affect. There are 126,897 policies in North Carolina, with a population of 10.27 million; North Carolina is the state with the highest number of policies, with 201,205. With a population of 5 million people, it comes to 0.004% of the population insured.
According to the Washington Post, only 10% to 15% of people who suffered damages or loss from Florence has flood insurance. They state that the main reasons why people do not get flood insurance is because they think their home insurance will cover the expenses. People also think that they don’t need insurance, or can simply not afford it.
How Much Damage did Florence Cause?
The sights of the damage that Florence has caused are absolutely terrifying. As the floods are still present in most of the areas that the hurricane hit, there are no official reports available yet. However, experts estimate total damages might raise to anywhere between $17 to $22 billion dollars. They state this might be a bit of an optimistic forecast, though. Yet, these estimates are still that, rough estimates.
Experts also mention that this is one of the top 10 costliest hurricanes, reaching record rainfalls of 24 inches. Economists state that it is still too soon to know and understand the real damage that Florence brought. They also say that it might take weeks or even months until we got accurate numbers.
How Can We Get Assistance to Recover from Florence?
If we are facing severe damage or maybe even total loss after Hurricane Florence, and we don’t have a flood insurance policy, there are two ways we could get some extra help to start rebuilding. First, there is the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Another option is getting a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan, whether we have a business or not.
If you opt to get a loan from the FEMA, you must keep in mind that they might grant up to $33,000 for house repairs. You can follow this link to get more information on the sign-up progress. If you instead want to apply for an SBA loan, you should know that they can provide loans of up to $200,000. You can use these to repair or rebuild your home or to refinance mortgage. They can also provide loans for $40,000 to replace damaged belongings. You can follow this link to get more information on SBA loans.