Flood Insurance for the Fairfield County Coast

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Flood Insurance for the Fairfield County Coast

There are some people in Fairfield County, along the Gold Coast, who have still not yet fully recovered from the effects of Superstorm Sandy. The storm flooded downtown Westport, displaced hundreds of homeowners from Fairfield, and even caused a fire that destroyed several Greenwich estates. Many residents and visitors were injured, and three people were killed as a result of the storm. Given Sandy’s destruction, it may be difficult to believe that most people along the Fairfield County coast did not have flood insurance. It’s estimated that fewer than one out of every eight Gold Coast homes had flood insurance at the time the storm struck.

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The Importance of Flood Insurance
Depending on where you may live along the Fairfield County’s coast, you may not be required to purchase flood insurance for your home, but parts of coastal towns such as Westport, Greenwich, Darien, Stamford and Fairfield can be susceptible to severe flooding. Although the chances may be slim of a major event, Sandy has taught us all a tough lesson. Like life insurance, flood insurance should almost be considered a necessity if your home is anywhere near the water. Flood insurance is available to residents of Fairfield County communities through the National Flood Insurance Program. You may feel adequately protected from storms with your homeowners insurance coverage. But most homeowners insurance policies do not cover damage from flooding. So while you may be able to repair your home if it’s destroyed by high winds, your coverage will not pay you to repair or replace property or contents damaged by flooding. Floodwaters can do substantial damage in a relatively short time.

How Flood Insurance Works
Flood insurance works much like other types of insurance. You can choose to insure your home itself or all of the possessions in your home, or purchase a policy that covers both. As with other policies, you select the coverage limits based on the value of your assets. For instance, you may choose a policy with a maximum claim payout of $4,000,000 for your home and $1,500,000 for its contents. Because of the proximity to the ocean and the high real estate costs, Fairfield County coastal homeowners may pay higher rates for flood insurance. In addition, there is usually a 30-day waiting period associated with obtaining flood insurance; and like other types of policies, it must be renewed by the insurer every year.

The Government May Not Provide Relief
Flood insurance represents the most effective way to recoup lost property after a large storm. Contrary to popular belief, the federal government and/or the state of Connecticut may not declare Fairfield County to be a disaster area after a given storm. In fact, the majority of flooding events in the U.S. do not garner disaster status. And even if homeowners do gain access to federal reimbursement to help pay for flood damage, it usually comes in the form of loans which must be repaid with interest over time. Make sure you’re protected. Nobody likes to consider a worst-case scenario, but Superstorm Sandy showed us that Fairfield County coastal homes are not immune to the forces of Mother Nature, no matter how well built the homes may be. Therefore, if you plan on building a custom home or renovating an existing home along the Fairfield County coast, you should strongly consider buying and maintaining adequate flood insurance to protect your investment.