For the past fifty years almost every state has received its own share of flood, it’s just that some are more devastating than others. It doesn’t matter whether you live near mass body of water or not, at some point it will just happen and you can’t control it. Most of the flooding that took place is as a result of heavy rain or melting of snow from mountains that are miles away from our environment which causes rising water that leads to flooding.
Flooding is the leading natural disaster in the United States and is causing a lot of damages every year. Based on report released by FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency), flooding that occurs from 2008-2012 cost the average person about $42,000. In 2014 the average insurance claim was $10,456-$42,275. Let us share some important things which every citizen of this country should know when it comes flooding and insurance.
NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) is responsible for identifying flood hazard areas. These areas are referred to as SFHA (Special Flood Hazard Areas), these areas have one percent chance occurrence of flooding each year, and it’s also called the base flood or 100-year flood.
Since these areas are at high risk of flooding even lenders require that homeowner living in such areas should be covered by their insurance company. While areas that are at low risk of flooding, insurance isn’t necessarily needed.
Flood Insurance – What Does It Cover
An ideal insurance policy should cover the building structures and the content that’s inside, but the land where the building is located isn’t covered. There are also some limits to this coverage such as crawlspaces, basements or elevated buildings with enclosed floors.
The coverage provided for buildings is up to $250,000, for the content of a building it’s $100,000, this is for personal properties only. The NFIP suggest individuals to choose these 2 types of policies because home insurance doesn’t cover flood damages. If you’re looking for more coverage there are other options which are better, but they come with different deductibles and premiums.
What Is Covered For Building Damages?
- The entire structure and the foundation.
- Plumbing and electrical systems.
- Major systems such as furnaces, air conditioning equipment and water heater.
- Appliances like cooking stoves, refrigerators and dishwashers.
- Window blinds.
- Wallboard, cabinets and bookcases.
- Electronic equipments, furniture and clothing.
- Portable air conditioners.
- Portable appliances like dishwashers and microwaves.
- Carpeting that’s not included in the building coverage.
- Washers and dryers.
- Food freezers and the food content inside.
- Any other item that cost no more than $2500 like original artwork.
What Isn’t Included?
Even with flood insurance, not everything is covered, there are a number of damages that will be left out, and it is advised to talk to your company to see what’s covered and what is not covered. Here are some things that are not included;
- Important papers such as stock certificates, precious metals and currencies.
- Damages caused by mold, mildew or moisture and should have been prevented by property owner.
- Items outside the building like plants, trees, walkways, septic systems, fences, seawalls, hot tubs, patios, decks, and swimming pools.
- Financial losses that arise from business interruption.
- Self propelled vehicles like cars, four wheelers and motorcycles.
Most of the time before flooding occurs there are warning signs, so these means there are some steps which should be taken in order to minimize damages especially if it’s a flash flood. Let’s take a look at some of these important steps.
- Inspect everything; inside and outside.
- Make sure that your gutters are not blocked by debris.
- Drain any water that’s in the low lying areas, this is to ensure that water is away from foundations and basements.
- Check all your important items like electronics, furniture and photos to find the ones that are vulnerable to get damaged during flooding, you should come up with protective measures that can help prevent them from getting damaged.
Insurance Claim Preparation
- Make sure that you have all the insurance coverage paper and you fully understand what’s covered and what’s not.
- Ask the insurance agent to state insurance coverage in simple terms.
- When there is damage, record everything that need replacement like laptop, phone, medication or purse.
And lastly before making any claim you should consult an attorney that understand how the system work, we know that dealing with insurance companies can be tricky, but with the right attorney, things are going to be a lot easier for you. Give us a call now at Massey & Duffy for a free consultation.