Lack of Insurance May Bury Flood Victims

WEST SENECA, NY - Many homeowners in West Seneca are bracing for some big costs after flooding damaged their homes a week ago.

Residents tell us a big reason for the costs is the lack of flood insurance.

"Sometimes the cost of the flood insurance gets up there and insurance is something that sometimes people think it's a necessary evil it's an intangible product," said Jo Ann Decker, It's something they may not want to pay for especially, if they haven't had that problem before."

It hasn't flooded in West Seneca like it did a week ago in 35 years. Gene Siejak's brother lives in the town. His brother did what many of his neighbors did, which was drop the insurance policy thinking it wasn't going to flood. The policy was $2,600 a year.
"People get comfortable and the expense of it is an issue," he said.

Meantime, other homeowners tell 2 On Your Side they've paid off their homes, therefore, they weren't required to buy the insurance from the mortgage company. A typical policy covers structural damage and can replace equipment like a broken furnace or water heater.

The flooding reminded many residents that homeowners insurance does not cover the damage of personal items or home heating equipment during a flood.

"People might forget about covering the contents of their policy, because that's not something that's required, but that's an important thing to think about," Decker said.

Many residents now await an announcement coming Tuesday from West Seneca officials at 6 p.m. at Winchester Community Church. That's when the town plans to tell residents whether West Seneca will get any state assistance. Residents will also be given other options of financial assistance that may be available.


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