Only 10 percent have flood insurance on hard-hit Carolina coast

Only 10 percent have flood insurance on hard-hit Carolina coast

People without flood insurance will lose their homes or have to try to rebuild on FEMA aid that is often less than $5,000.

As Americans in North and South Carolina make it out of the Florence floodwaters, they face another daunting task: figuring out whether they can afford to rebuild.

Few have flood insurance in the areas with the worst destruction. Home insurance does not typically cover flooding, a fact many realize the hard way. People have to purchase a separate flood insurance policy at least a month in advance of a major storm to be eligible for reimbursement.

Only about one in 10 homes has flood insurance in the counties hit by Florence, according to a Washington Post analysis comparing the number of policies in National Flood Insurance Program data with the number of housing units in counties hit by the storm. Milliman, an actuarial firm, found similar results.

In Craven County, N.C., which is home to New Bern, a city that has dominated headlines for severe flooding and hundreds of rescues, 9.9 percent have flood insurance. In Wilmington, which is located in New Hanover County and has also seen devastating flooding, slightly more — 14.2 percent — have flood insurance, according to The Post analysis. Florence has caused historic flooding around New Bern and Wilmington, two parts of the southeast coast with some of the lowest take-up rates for flood insurance.

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