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There really is no season of disasters, but it does seem that spring and summer, from mid-March to the beginning of fall, is when we receive the most “gifts” from Ma Nature. By April 1st, central New England was convinced that their rain—following one of the worst winters in recent decades—was no April Fool’s joke. It reminds one of the great 1936 flood on the Connecticut River, and the story of the two old Yankees sitting on a porch watching houses and covered bridges, cattle, and other debris float down the river. As part of the courthouse floated by, one looked at the other and said, “By gosh, Fred. Taxes are going to be high.”

Given that a large number of the victims of the Great Flood of 2010 probably did not have flood insurance, chances are that those cash-strapped states will have little option but to raise taxes, and when they are declared federal disaster zones, the rest of us will have to divvy up, too. When writing chapter 13 on the National Flood Insurance Program for Thomson Reuters West’s 2008 text, CAT Claims – Insurance Coverage for Natural and Man-Made Disasters, I included a list of major U.S. floods. It’s a common enough peril, but every time there is a major flood, there are those who thought it would never happen to them, and who did not purchase flood insurance.

Of course, for some losses, flood may be a covered peril, as it is generally a part of auto physical damage coverage that goes beyond collision. But on top of all the rusted-out autos from the salt poured on the highways of the Northeast this past winter, water damage is the last thing those vehicles needed. But rust is not an insured peril, so insurers’ auto damage appraisers will need to examine the flood claims carefully.

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