Are you ready resilient

June 1 through Nov 30 is official hurricane season. No one is likely to forget the unprecedented and widespread damage that Hurricane Sandy brought to us on Oct 25 2012. Many of us, however, would be better protected if we had a deeper working knowledge of what "is" and "is not" covered in a standard flood insurance policy. This article will outline a few of the key provisions that will help you manage your expectations and dial up a risk management program appropriate for you or your business.

Everyone is at risk for a flood loss. Over 25% of annual flooding occurs outside an identified high hazard flood zone. Since a "flood" is defined as "runoff of surface water from any source", we're all suseptible to flooding since it rains everywhere and water will invariably run downhill. Typical examples of flooding include an overflow of a body of water(eg. stream, river or ocean) or a flashflood or rain downpour. Talk to your local construction/code enforcement town officials to determine if your location has been "remapped" for rate and elevation evaluation. You need a flood policy, regardless.

Here's a short list of what's never covered in a flood policy...even if you've purchased a policy with full limits for both structure and contents. Consult with your independent agent for a longer list:

1. Personal property not inside the fully enclosed insured building. Lesson: Move your property IN and UP. Think about all the potential contents around the periphery of your building that needs to be inside before the flood occurs.

2. Land, lawns, trees, shrubs, plants, growing crops or animals. Lesson: Never leave your best friend behind and appreciate your landscaper...but dont expect to recreate that beauty through your flood insurance policy provisions..

3. Walks, walkways, decks, driveways, patios. Lesson: Invest in improvements at your expense. No coverage on a flood policy for these items.

4. Fences, retaining walls, bulkheads, wharves, piers, bridges, docks, aircraft and watercraft. Lesson: Plan your commute accordingly on a stormy day!

5. Underground structures and equipment including wells, septic tanks and systems. Lesson: Coverage may stink if you're not prepared!

DonnaLyn Giegerich MBA CIC RYT is a 25 yr insurance planning professional, leadership keynoter and resiliency expert as co-founder of KickCancerOverboard. In her spare time, she teaches macro economics, guides yoga around the world and creates programming to empower peopleleaders at DLG Consulting. Her dogs are never far from her desk.