Facing a natural disaster is one thing; dealing with its aftermath is another. You must have heard it said before, that what comes after a storm is a much bigger than storm.
Why, because seldom does a disaster leave without causing damage to property. And facing the damage is usually what’s causing an even greater stress.
When the damage is so great as to warrant major home repairs, this can mean a lot of cost.
At times like this, it pays to have insurance coverage because it will reduce the impact on your finances, and help you pull yourself up and put things back in order.
So as a homeowner, make it your priority to ensure that your house is covered not just for theft but for disastrous events, like flooding.
Doesn’t your standard homeowner’s insurance policy cover “acts of God”, as well?
Actually, a standard homeowner’s insurance policy may cover some natural calamities, but not all.
Usually, what’s included in a homeowner’s insurance are damages from fire, lightning, volcanic eruption, and water damage resulting from accidental burst pipes, but damages from flood, earthquakes, and hurricanes are often left out.
It’s usually stated on the policy what kinds of damages are covered and what are not.
Make time to review this, preferably with your insurance agent, so you’ll know where you stand when the time comes.
For the most part, insurance for flood damage therefore comes as a necessary supplement to your existing policy, and on a case-to-case basis.
There can’t be a single policy that applies to everyone.
Do You Need Flood Insurance Coverage?
If you live in a coastal or a low-lying area, or let’s say, you live in an area prone to gigantic storms, you will want to consider purchasing a flood insurance policy.
Actually, getting flood insurance may not even come as an option, but as a requirement if you’re in such a high-risk zone and your house is currently mortgaged.
But even if this isn’t the case, getting covered for flood damage is still a wise move however you look at it.
Floods, these days, occur almost everywhere, after all, and even just a few inches of water inside your home can already cause a lot of damage.
Also, storms are not the only reasons for flooding. So even if your area is not typhoon-prone, you can still get water in your basement due to a river overflow, heavy rains, or some other reason that has nothing to do with the weather, causing some degree of water damage.
Your basic homeowner’s insurance policy cannot cover the expenses you’ll spend to have the damage repaired and your basement restored to living condition, but a flood insurance can.
This makes it all the wiser to get flood insurance coverage no matter where you are or what your situation is.
You can purchase your flood insurance through the government via the Federal Emergency Management Agency or through private companies.
The former allows coverage of both building and possessions. This means to say, you can claim for damages sustained by the building itself, the plumbing and electrical systems, HVACs, kitchen appliances, clothing, electronic appliances, furniture, and carpeting.
Policies secured by the government-run agency, however, does not provide coverage for temporary housing when there is a need for you to relocate to allow the flood damage restoration process to take place.
If you therefore choose to stay in a hotel for the meantime, you will have to pay for your accommodation by yourself.
Your NFIP insurance will also not cover water damage resulting from molds that may have been avoided in the first place; neither will it cover expenses for a general clean-up of your backyard. But you can claim for expenses related to debris removal.
On the other hand, a privately-managed flood insurance can get you the same coverage and essentially, everything else a government-owned insurance agency cannot extend.
For example, if you need to rent flood damage restoration equipment such as an air mover, commercial dehumidifier, and so on, the private insurance company can pretty much reimburse you for such expenses.
Moreover, if you choose a private insurance company, you can even get a higher coverage for a lower premium rate. This is because private insurers have flexible rates and are open to the idea of looking into the different rate structures.
A big factor in determining your premium rate and coverage is the risk factor. Therefore, if you don’t want to pay a high price, you’ll just have to lower your risk factor, then.
You’ll be surprised to know that simply making a few adjustments in your home, such as elevating your equipment, can significantly bring down the cost of your insurance; so can flood-proofing your home and making the necessary repairs to strengthen your home’s foundation and improve your plumbing system, with the end in view of preventing water leaks and consequently, water damage.
First Things To Do Following A Flood
Immediately following a natural disaster, such as a flood, your immediate concern will be to keep yourself, your family, and your property safe.
Avoid getting yourself in any more trouble because that is only going to make things worse.
Call your insurance company right away for your claims adjuster to inspect and assess the damage. As much as possible, leave things as they are so your adjuster can make an accurate report of the damage.
However, while waiting for your claims adjuster, you can make an inventory of all your soaked and damaged items, take photos of them, and put them outside, where they will not get in your way.
As the saying goes, “it’s always better to be safe than sorry”, so it is with a flood insurance coverage.