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NY Flood Insurance: What causes flooding?

There are many different causes of flooding, all of which are not covered under a NY homeowners insurance policy. However if you choose to purchase  NY flood insurance than your home and personal belongings will be financially reimbursed in the event of a flood related loss.

When determining whether flood insurance is something you need to purchase, understanding what causes flooding is a good place to start. In this article we will discuss the many different ways that flooding occurs and why each adds up to the conclusion that flood insurance is a necessary coverage whether you are in a low, medium or high risk flood zone.

ny flood insurance

When snow melts water levels rise…

What causes flooding?

Spring Thaw – During the springtime the ground is still frozen and prevents melting snow and ice, as well as excess rainfall that accompanies spring from seeping into the ground the way and moving to larger bodies of water the way it normally would. According to, each cubic foot of compacted snow contains gallons of water. Once all that snow melts it can result in small runoffs and drainage systems overflowing and streams, rivers and lakes to exceed their boundaries potentially impacting nearby homes and dwellings.

Heavy Rains – Heavy or flash rainstorms can create extreme flooding situations very fast. Excessive amounts of rainfall can happen throughout the year with little to no warning putting your home at risk of flood damage. In the Albany, NY area storms coming off the Atlantic coast or coming directly from the Great Lakes can contain large amounts of water that can be dropped in very short amount of time. Many of our local municipalities being so old are inadequate systems for moving water quickly creating back ups and potential flood damage.

Snowmelt –  As mentioned above a small amount of snow when melted can yield a very significant amount of water. Even if you do not have a large amount of snow around your home now, if areas that are uphill or upstream from your home’s location do have a large amount of snow and that snow melts quickly the resulting water runoff can overflow the boundaries of cricks, drainage systems, streams, rivers and lakes causing flood damage to your home.

Mudflows – Mudflows are rivers of liquid flowing mud on the surface of what is normally dry land and are often caused by the combination of striped land and the subsequent heavy rains. You will also commonly find mudflows around areas of recently developed land. Mudflows develop when water saturates the ground causing a thick liquid to flow. Mudflows are often confused with landslides or slope failures. Damage from mudflows is covered by NY flood insurance where damage from landslides is not.

The Insurance Take-Away

Flood insurance can help you recover from flooding that’s caused by spring thaw, heavy rains, rapid snowmelt or mudflows. It’s important to understand what causes a flood so that you can protect your home against a flood. It’s always preferable to not actually experience a flood loss then have to be reimbursed by flood insurance, but in the event the damage does occur from flooding, a NY flood insurance policy will be the product that financially reimburses you, homeowners insurance will not.

If you are interested in learning more about NY flood insurance or you have questions about flood insurance or if you’d potentially like to purchase a flood insurance policy please give The Murray Group call at ( 518)456-6688 or you can click here to begin by email.

Thank you,

Ryan Hanley, CIC

photo credit: monteregina via photopin cc