From fallen trees to flooding, Hurricane Sandy left many homes a disastrous mess. Fortunately, most Rhode Island homes were left unscathed, but the near miss should highlight the importance of flood insurance.

A typical homeowner’s policy covers water damage that starts from inside the home, or from a hole in the roof. However, if water touches the surface of the ground and then enters the home, a standard homeowner’s policy will not help because it is then considered ground water flooding.

Unlike most types of policies, flood insurance won’t go into effect the moment you buy it because there is a 30-day waiting period. So, it is wise to think about purchasing it now, in advance of the next storm.

If you’re wondering about your home’s flood risk, visit floodsmart.gov to determine the risk before you buy.

Should your risk be judged moderate to low, it is still a wise investment to purchase flood insurance because 25 percent of claims come from low- to moderate-risk areas.

If you do decide to purchase flood insurance, it typically comes with a $500 deductible, and your premium will depend on the location of your house.

For more information about flood insurance, or if you have questions about filing a claim due to Hurricane Sandy, please contact Soucy Insurance at (401) 762-2218.