It is a common misconception among many homeowner's that their home insurance policy will cover floods. The reality is that most of the time homeowner’s policies will usually not cover you from losses incurred by flooding. WE REPEAT, “homeowner’s policies will usually not cover you from losses incurred by flooding.” But why?
The Federal Emergency Management Agency vehemently suggests that homeowner’s purchase federal flood insurance to prevent losses in the event of a flood. Since most floods are not declared national emergencies, most victims will be hard-pressed to find any government aid that isn’t loan-based. Flood insurance is your best bet at protecting your home and valuables from flooding. After ensuring proper coverage the next best thing is proper hom upkeep and being proactive about ensuring your home is ready for the storm.
To help make sure you’re ready, we’ve compiled a short list of tips to help prepare your home for possible flood conditions. While these methods won’t flood-proof your property, they can certainly help minimize any potential damage.
Leaks are the prime suspect for internal water damage. If left unchecked, over time they can lead to mold damage and structural deficiencies. More importantly, how can you expect to keep uninvited water out of your home if it’s already got a backdoor?
The blockages caused by excess debris in these areas of your home can cause water to collect when it should be carried away from your home. With enough trash, gutters can end up detaching from your roof, creating yet another unnecessary factor.
Do you have any cracks in the cement or mortar of your home? Seal them immediately! There is no easier way for flood damage to occur than for water to seep in through the walls of your home.
If you need to repair your roof or if it’s simply “that time”, don’t go for the cheap stuff. Make sure you invest in quality materials and if possible, a rubber underlay. This can help to create a barrier against excess water, saving you hundreds of dollars in the event of an accident. This is especially beneficial for Floridians, who live under perpetual hurricane watches.
Well…prevention is all fine and dandy but what if it’s already happened?! As usual, we’ve got you covered. Since we love lists, here’s another with the top three things you should do in the event of a flood:
Moving expensive and/or irreplaceable belongings before or during a flood can help you save them from permanent damage. Make sure to wrap the possessions in plastic or another water resistant material to prevent residual damage from humidity.
1) Take pictures: As with any other insurance claim, it will be important to document any and every area that has been affected by flood damage. Make sure to schedule an inspection of your home for any signs of mold buildup as well. These pictures will help you to recover the appropriate amount of damages from the government.
2) Is the flooding internal and not related to a natural disaster:
Make sure to turn off the flow of water to your home to prevent more damage. Call your insurance provider immediately and again, make sure to catalog all your possessions and valuables, if you can. Make accommodations for you and your loved ones should you need a place to stay while repairs are conducted.
If you are reading this and think that you don’t need flood coverage, you’re dead wrong. 20% of all flood claims come from areas that were not prototypically prone to flooding. All it takes is one annual premium to save you from thousands of dollars in damages.
At Insurance Nation, we’re dedicated to keeping you one step ahead of potential claims. Are you “IN the loop?”