Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma have (rightly) brought a lot of attention to storm surge. So much so, in fact, that you might be forgiven for thinking that storm surge is itself an insurable event. The reality though, is that storm surge is just another name for flooding, and nearly every homeowners policy excludes flood damage from coverage.
Here’s the definition of Storm Surge from the International Risk Management Institute (IRMI)
Water that is pushed toward the shore due to the force of winds swirling around a storm advancing across a body of water. This advancing surge combines with the normal tides to generate the hurricane storm tide, which can lead to severe flooding in coastal areas. Numerous coverage disputes over the applicability of flood exclusions to storm surge losses caused by major hurricanes, such as Katrina (often called “wind versus water” cases), have arisen because this term is not often listed as an excluded peril in property insurance forms. Most courts, however, have ruled against coverage for these losses under standard property insurance policies, stating that “storm surge” is little more than a synonym for a “tidal wave” or “wind-driven flood,” both of which are excluded under most property forms. In summary, the courts have generally ruled that only flood insurance policies cover these losses.
As you can see, the issue has been to court a number of times, and the courts have always clearly returned that storm surges are simply another name for a flood.
After seeing the immense damage from storm surge following Harvey and Irma, does this change your feelings about your flood policy? Are you sure that it is up to date and adequately covering your home?
If you’re not sure, give us a call. We have several options available for flood policies, and we specialize in insuring coastal properties.
All content provided in this blog is for informational purposes only. Topics discussed on this blog relate to insurance products and issues in a general application, and are not an offer of insurance, a guarantee of coverage, or applicable to specific and individual circumstances. Contact LG Insurance Agency for questions and information specific to your insurance needs.
About LG Insurance
Founded in 2009 by Aaron Levine, LG Insurance is one of the Jersey Shore's fastest growing insurance agencies. Located in Long Branch Jersey, LG Insurance proudly serves many other local towns throughout Monmouth County including Asbury Park, Eatontown, Little Silver, Middletown, Ocean Township, Red Bank, Rumson, Shrewsbury and all of NJ. We also insure homes and busiensses on Long Island and in the Greater New York City area.
Specializing in personal and business properties in coastal areas, LG Insurance offers a full product line of personal and commercial insurance packages and products as well as a full line of life insurance and supplemental insurance coverages.