Posted on May 19, 2014
Melting snow and severe rain storms heighten the chance of springtime flooding in South Dakota. Rains often raise water levels in the lakes, rivers and streams throughout the state in spring and summer. South Dakota property owners must be inherently aware of the risk of flooding and financially prepare for potential flood damage.
The flood risk in South Dakota usually begins when the spring thaw causes snow to melt and runoff quickly. Frozen ground cannot absorb this water as it melts so that large amounts of it flow into bodies of water with excess rising above the banks of lakes and rivers. South Dakota also experiences flash flooding usually from the intense rain of thunderstorms that can flood low areas very quickly. Flash flooding also happens when dams or other manmade structures collapse.
The state has experienced millions in flood damage over the last five years including 7 events considered federal disasters. Despite the history of flooding in South Dakota, many residents and business owners remain unprotected by flood insurance policies. Purchasing flood insurance prior to spring flood season will protect business assets and must be done before a flooding event. Commercial property insurance policies do not provide protection from flood damage. Business owners must purchase separate policies and do so in advance because it can take up to 30 days before a flood insurance policy becomes effective.
Citizens do not have to be located in high risk areas to experience flooding. In fact, twenty percent of all claims made on National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policies come from moderate to low risk areas while high risk areas have a 25 percent chance of flooding.
Commercial property owners may purchase up to $1 million of flood insurance protection through the NFIP with $500,000 of coverage toward buildings and $500,000 toward building contents. Our insurance agents can help evaluate your business risk and then assist in applying for flood insurance to protect your business assets.