Why most home insurance policies won’t cover Americans against hurricanes … or even wet weather that causes flooding


Many Americans are shocked to discover they can’t claim for flooding on their home insurance.

A film director has just discovered that his insurance was suddenly cancelled by his insurance company worried about high payouts in the wake of severe bad weather or other incidents such as wildfires caused by climate change.

In the US, standard homeowners’ insurance policies cover the most common types of damage such as theft and fire, but don’t cover natural disasters.

This means it’s vital you check your home insurance policy to see if you’re covered or not and buy extra cover if necessary … and that’s if you can.

According to legal website FindLaw.com: “Standard homeowners’ policies only cover flooding caused by plumbing failures like leaking pipes. They specifically exclude flood damage from heavy rain, rivers or lakes overflowing their banks, coastal surges, or sneak waves.

“If you live in an area where floods are frequent you can purchase a special flood protection policy. In 1968, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). It allows homeowners in flood-prone areas to buy flood insurance through private insurance companies, backed by the US government.

“The cost of NFIP flood insurance coverage is tied to measures your community has taken to reduce the risk of flood damage. Even if you don’t live in a flood-prone area, you may want flood coverage.”

Americans are finding that insurance companies are cancelling their insurance policies if they live in areas at high risk of flooding or other catastrophic events caused by climate change.

One of them is film director Adam McKay, whose hit disaster film Don’t Look Up chronicles an astronomy student’s doomed campaign to persuade world leaders to stop a huge comet from hitting Earth.

Adam sent out a tweet saying: “Just had my home insurance cancelled because Southern California is at too high risk now for fire and floods. This is real and happening right now. #EndFossilFuels #DontLookUp.”

California has suffered a series of droughts and wildfires which have led insurance companies to pay out far more than they reaped in premiums in some years.

But other states have been similarly badly affected by climate change such as Florida and Louisiana which have both suffered from terrible flooding.

According to the US National Oceanic and Atmosphere Administration, 2021 was the third most costly year for natural disasters in more than two centuries, behind only 2017 and 2005.

The agency says 20 different climate incidents caused more than a billion dollars of damage, totalling $145bn.

In the US many home insurance plans do not include natural disasters leading to people being unable to pay their mortgages due to having to pay for costly repairs or pay for specialist insurance.

Americans should also be aware that some insurance plans that cover natural disasters may not include ‘named storms’ – in effect large hurricanes.

The president’s climate adviser, Gina McCarthy, said recently: “If this year has shown us anything it’s that climate change poses an ongoing urgent and systemic risk to our economy and to the lives and livelihoods of everyday Americans.”

In short, American home and business owners need to organise their own flood protection.

When flooding strikes it’s instantaneous and you’ve very little time to react which is why hundreds of thousands of Americans now rely on FloodSax® alternative sandbags which are space-saving to store and quick and easy to deploy.

Before they are activated FloodSax® – also known as flood sacks or flood bags - resemble pillowcases and are incredibly lightweight, amazingly weighing just a few ounces yet once expanded a row of standard 500mm by 450mm by 200mm FloodSax® are strong enough to stop a powerful torrent of water in its tracks. Each row of FloodSax® will keep around 20cms (8ins) of water out and have proved themselves as flood barriers time and again worldwide.

In their dry state FloodSax® are ideal to soak up floods and leaks inside homes and businesses. They are large and flat so can be slipped under the hardest-to-reach places such as beneath floorboards, under boilers or in cupboards to absorb water which would otherwise cause serious damage.

For more information on FloodSax® in the USA phone 800 255 4208 extension 121 or email info@floodsaxus.com