BRICK — Jon Huston lives nowhere near a body of water, but, he says, protection against flooding should be an automatic with home insurance.

Huston, along with many of his neighbors in the Greenbriar retirement community who had been paying monthly premiums for years to protect their homes against damage, received no financial reimbursement when torrential rains flooded their neighborhood in the middle of August.

"I think that everybody should just be covered," Huston said. "Charge everybody $75 a year, in the entire country, and cover everybody for floods."

While mortgage companies may require individuals in high-risk areas to purchase flood insurance, residents outside designated flood zones don't receive coverage for damage caused by flooding unless they've purchased additional protection.

Financial experts say one in four flood claims are made by homes not located in flood zones.

According to a survey by ServiceMaster Restoration, conducted in the aftermath of Hurricanes Florence and Michael on the East Coast, 49 percent of New Jersey homeowners incorrectly assume their standard home insurance covers them for flood damage.

And almost two-thirds of Garden Staters admit they don't read the small print when purchasing home insurance.

The U.S. Small Business Administration on Saturday opened satellite offices in Brick and Little Falls, where homeowners, renters and businesses in several counties can apply for low-interest disaster loans related to August storms and flooding. Representatives are on hand through Friday to help individuals complete their applications.

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