Many homeowners who suffered losses because of flooding from Hurricane Sandy are likely to find themselves out of luck. Standard homeowners policies don't cover flooding damage, and the vast majority of homeowners don't have flood insurance.
Yet it's likely that many Northeasterners will purchase it in coming months, hoping they'll be covered the next time around, at a cost averaging around $600 a year.
That's what happened after Hurricane Irene triggered flooding across 13 Eastern states in August 2011. An annual survey by the insurance industry found that flood coverage in the Northeast rose to 14 percent of homeowners this year from 5 percent before Irene hit.
The head of the industry's Insurance Information Institute attributes the jump to Irene, which hit many inland areas where flooding is historically uncommon.