If you live in Ohio, you’re likely already familiar with Midwestern weather hazards like tornadoes and snowstorms, but there’s one natural disaster many homeowners forget about: flooding. Floods can wreak havoc, threaten lives, and leave long, costly clean-ups behind. And while designated flood zones can help us understand weather patterns over time, floods are unpredictable and can happen anywhere in Ohio: according to the Ohio Committee for Severe Weather Awareness, “more than 20 percent of [Ohio] flood claims come from properties outside high-risk flood zones.”
While the risk of flooding may be high, there is good news: private flood insurance makes it easy to offer custom coverage above and beyond the NFIP.
Is Ohio prone to flooding?
“Special Flood Hazard Areas,” (SFHA) also known as the 100-year floodplain, is the “area that will be inundated by the flood event having a 1-percent chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year.” One in a hundred may sound like good odds, but they don’t get better over time—so homeowners in these areas may experience a flooding event at least once in their lifetimes. Consider some of the historic floods Ohio has seen:
- 1959 – An example of winter flood risks, less than six inches of rain caused snow to melt and run along the frozen ground to swell the rivers
- 1964 – On July 4, storms from Lake Erie moved to land and just stopped, dropping 10 inches of rain over several hours. More than 10,000 homes were destroyed and 41 people died
These are just some of the floods to make the history books. But flooding is an annual risk in the Buckeye State. Currently, 15% of the land area in Ohio is designated SFHA, although based on Ohio’s topography, the risks across the state are high: nearly half a million properties in Ohio are at risk for a flood.
Should I only worry about properties flooding along the Ohio River?
No. The Ohio River is certainly a source of flooding inside and outside the state of Ohio, but it’s certainly not the only cause. According to the Ohio Floodplain Management Handbook
, floods can originate from a variety of sources, especially the following Ohio rivers:
- Great Miami
- Little Miami
Whether it’s the mighty Ohio River or that babbling brook running behind your house, a fast and furious rain can cause them to overflow. But rain isn’t the only driving factor behind a flood. As we shared with the Flood of 1959, winter conditions can combine for a flooding disaster.
Frozen ground doesn’t allow water to drain into the soil, so rain or rapid snow melt has no place to go. Ice jams can also lead to flooding by preventing adequate drainage into waterways or causing erosion that opens new, unwanted paths for water.
And let’s not forget about Lake Erie, where the water level rose over Memorial Day weekend 2021 to warrant the rescue of some Put-In-Bay residents
who got stuck in their cars on flooded roadways. Last July, the Army Corps of Engineers measured Lake Erie’s water level as 20 inches above the long-term average for the month.
Recovering from a flood can be expensive without insurance
Without flood insurance, flooding can devastate both your clients’ homes and their finances; homeowner’s insurance and renter’s insurance do not cover flood-related damage, and just one inch of water can cause $25,000 worth of damage
to a home.
And while flood insurance is required for homes in certain high-risk areas, you may want to talk to your clients about the possibility of flooding in non-mandatory coverage zones.
An effective flood insurance policy may save them thousands of dollars. With private flood insurance, you have the flexibility to offer coverage for their homes and their budgets.
EZ Flood can cover homes for damage above the NFIP limit
With Aon Edge, you can offer custom flood insurance options for your clients. Instead of relying on standardized NFIP policies, you can choose the deductible and coverage options.
For example, with EZ Flood®
, you can offer coverage beyond the NFIP maximum, which is important for homes worth more than $250,000. As homes have increased in value, and reconstructions costs have soared, it’s possible that your client’s current coverage is no longer adequate for damages rendered by a potential flood. We’ve created this infographic to help you have that conversation with your clients:
Offer your clients options beyond a one-size-fits-all flood insurance policy. Private flood insurance available through Aon Edge has coverage options beyond the main residential dwelling, including: flood damage to sheds, Alternate Dwelling Units (ADUs), and even pools.
Learn more about EZ Flood®
You can learn more about how to offer more comprehensive and customized flood insurance to your clients in this video:
This article is provided for general informational purposes only and is not intended to provide individualized advice. All descriptions, summaries or highlights of coverage are for general informational purposes only and do not amend, alter or modify the actual terms or conditions of any insurance policy. Coverage is governed only by the terms and conditions of the relevant policy.