Business owners are encouraged to get their ducks in a row before the water rises. A general property policy through the National Flood Insurance Program can prevent a business from going under when spring flooding hits.

"Heavy spring rains combined with frozen ground and melting snow can wreak havoc in areas beyond the typical floodplains," said Tom McElhaney, chairman of Insurance Agents & Brokers of Pennsylvania. "Flood insurance protects a business from the crippling costs of water damage."

Flooding is the leading cause of property loss from natural disasters, according to Federal Emergency Management Agency which administers the NFIP.

Standard business policies do not include flood coverage. Flood insurance is single-peril insurance (much like earthquake insurance) and requires a separate policy.

Policies typically require a 30-day waiting period before going into effect. There is no waiting period if you have an existing flood insurance policy and an additional amount is required for loan-related purposes.

High flood risk does not preclude coverage. Except in Coastal Barrier Resources System areas, as long as your community participates in the NFIP, you can buy flood insurance.

To learn more about the NFIP, contact your local independent insurance agent.

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