By Jon Keller

BOSTON (CBS) – What a mess down in the Carolinas from the storm and the flooding. And while the focus for now is rightly on the ongoing risk to human life, there’s a financial calamity awaiting many of those affected that we here in New England should take careful note of.

According to experts quoted in USA Today, only ten-to-twenty percent of homeowners along the North Carolina coast have flood insurance, and less than three-percent of inland residents threatened by flooding rivers and creeks have coverage. Looking statewide, less than ten-percent of homeowners in North and South Carolina have insurance that can help them recover from flooding damage, which is not covered by standard homeowner’s insurance.

Flooded homes after Hurricane Florence on September 17, 2018 in Conway, South Carolina. (Photo by Sean Rayford/Getty Images)

What about here at home? A 2013 study found Massachusetts has the worst exposure to hurricane damage of any New England state, with more than a hundred thousand homes at risk. A 2016 survey found barely 16,000 homes here had any type of flood insurance.

Are you prepared to cover out-of-pocket the thousands of dollars in losses that just an inch of interior water can cause? When you consider the potential damage of the one-to-two feet of water some places are getting buried under down south right now, the costs could easily run much higher than that. And while Massachusetts flood-insurance premiums are the fourth highest in the country, with an average annual cost of over $1,200, you can do the math yourself to determine if it’s worth it.

The disaster in the Carolinas can’t happen here, you’re thinking? Remember how a simple nor’easter flooded the Seaport last March? Better think again.

State Street and Atlantic Ave. in Boston were flooded during a nor’easter in March 2018. (WBZ-TV)

Talk back to us via email at, or use Twitter, @kelleratlarge.

Jon Keller

  1. Theodore Oule says:

    My, my, another comment that went poof…

    What’s the problem, Jon? Somebody didn’t like my taking on the insurance companies for milking the homeowner in southeastern Massachusetts on the grounds that they have to be compensated in advance for the past 27 years for payouts that they “MIGHT” have to make if a hurricane actually made it to our shores???

    Seems to me that someone in your station is getting mighty petty in their “moderation”.

    Who is it? One of the producers? Or is it you?

    Come now, we can handle both the transparency and the truth…After all, that’s what you keep telling us that we need in our society…

    And, quite frankly, I am in 100% agreement with that thought.

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