Ward, Hayden

Prepare Your Rental Property from Flooding With These Tips

Vacation Rental Flooding Tips

It only takes an inch or two of water to cause major damage to a home. Floods are one of the most common natural disasters in the United States. Even small streams, gullies, creeks, culverts, dry streambeds, or low-lying ground that appear harmless in dry weather can cause big problems when it floods.

Natural disasters can have severe impacts not only on your physical property, but they may also directly affect your business operations (including weeks without having renters or guests) and lengthy, costly repairs. It is an unfortunate fact that one in four businesses that shut down due to a natural disaster never reopen. May 1st through the 7th is Hurricane Awareness Week. This is a great opportunity to get ahead and prepare for the floods that may occur during the unpredictable weather season. 

Flood Causes

In the past five years, all 50 states have experienced floods. Property damage due to flooding total averages more than $3.5 billion annually. While floods have many causes and can occur anywhere, some of the most common events that lead to flooding include:

  • Storm surges in hurricane-prone areas
  • Flash flooding from intense rainfall
  • Mountainside or hill mudslides caused by heavy episodes of rain
  • Snow melt produced from the frozen ground’s inability to absorb excess water
  • Urban development (e.g., construction, ground paving)

FEMA New Risk Rating 2.0

If you own rental property in an area prone to flooding, you should anticipate flood insurance market changes as extreme weather events are predicted to increase in frequency. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has released an updated Risk Rating 2.0. The new system takes into account more variables including:

  • Your property’s distance from water
  • How frequently the area floods
  • The type of foundation on your property
  • Cost to repair your property

Preparation is Key 

Heavy rains can severely damage or destroy homes. Therefore, you, your family and your guests need to be prepared if flooding does occur. Use the following guidance to stay safe and limit potential damage in the event of severe flooding.

When a Flood Watch Is Issued

  • Move your furniture and valuables to higher floors or elevated areas within your home.
  • Fill your car's gas tank, in case an evacuation notice is issued.

When a Flood Warning Is Issued

  • Gather emergency supplies and fill bathtubs with clean water.
  • Tune your radio to weather updates, disaster directions and signals.
  • If you must evacuate, take only essential items with you.
  • Move to higher ground — stay away from rivers, streams, creeks and storm drains.

After a Flood

  • Throw away food that is not safe to eat and use bottled water until the local authorities have determined that tap water is safe to drink and use for cooking.
  • Stay away from damaged buildings and structures.
  • Do not touch fallen power lines.
  • Do not turn on your power until a qualified electrician has determined that it is safe to do so.
  • Wear protective clothing when handling hazardous materials or cleaning up mold.

Secure Adequate Coverage

Don’t get washed away this hurricane season. Flooding is excluded from the majority of insurance policies, including the typical vacation rental package. It has to be quoted separately. If you're interested in purchasing flood coverage or are located in a flood-prone area, reach out to our team. Let us help you protect your short-term rental and mitigate potential risks. To learn more about protecting your vacation rental through CBIZ Vacation Rental Insurance, request a free quote today!

This blog may contain scenarios that are provided as examples only. Coverage is subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions of the policy issued. The information provided is general in nature and may be affected by changes in law or the interpretation of such laws. The reader is advised to contact a professional prior to taking any action based upon this information.

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About Us

CBIZ Vacation Rental Insurance, a division of CBIZ Insurance Services,Inc., is the largest insurer of short-term vacation rental properties in the United States. As part of an $850 million New York Stock Exchange traded company (CBZ), we are the first broker to develop specific policy coverage to meet the needs for vacation rental properties and the amenities offered by these businesses. We have insured vacation rental properties since 2002.

The CBIZ Vacation Rental Insurance team knows insurance, specifically the risks and exposures related to short-term vacation rentals.We won't confuse you with technical "insurance speak" ~ our representatives are well versed in explaining your coverage in plain English. With hands-on, personal customer service, we guarantee swift communication and a 24/7 claims team that is ready to respond to your call any time of the day. As specialist in the industry, we leverage our knowledge and passion to ensure you and your business are adequately protected.