When Waters Rise Flood Insurance for Co-ops & Condos

According to a 2013 poll by the Insurance Information Institute, only 13 percent of American homeowners have some sort of flood insurance policy, and those living in New York City are low on that list.

After all, New York City certainly isn't New Orleans, or a coastal town in the Carolinas for that matter, so the idea of torrential rains causing havoc with floods is rarely anything people here have to worry about—at least that was the thinking before Superstorm Sandy came barreling in two years ago. Thanks to the effects of that storm, people and those in charge of multifamily buildings are gobbling up flood insurance like never before.

Mark Carrasquillo, a veteran insurance broker with E.G. Bowman Co., Inc., an independent insurance brokerage in Manhattan, says New York City is as much at risk of flooding as one would expect of any island.

“In New York City it’s usually a Nor’easter or a hurricane that brings a storm surge of water from the Atlantic and swells the rivers and creeks in and around us,” he says. “I am sure that Superstorm Sandy was an eye opener for many unit owners and for the insurance community.”

Superstorm Sandy came at the New York metropolitan region directly, a frontal assault of wind and waves along hundreds of miles of the coast. More than 900 buildings were destroyed, and at least another 12,000 sustained major damage, according to initial estimates by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). And because of the hurricane, new flood zone maps were created. Sections of southern Brooklyn, the Rockaways and Staten Island not previously labeled at risk were added to flood zones on the new maps.

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