Hurricane season is here, and it is time to make sure that you and your family are protected from the dangers that these storms can bring. Flooding is one of the greatest risks during hurricane season – every year in the United States alone, floods kill about 140 people and cause around $6 billion worth of damage.
Even if only a few inches of water enter your home, you could end up paying thousands of dollars in repairs. Between 2008 and 2012, for instance, the average residential flood claim was $38,000.
The best way to avoid such expenses is to purchase flood insurance.
Where Does Your House Fall In The Flood Risk Levels?
Homes are either moderate-to-low risk or high risk depending on their location. If your home falls under the first category, you may be eligible for coverage at a preferred rate, which means premiums may be as low as $129 for your house and its contents. With almost one-quarter of claims to the National Flood Insurance Program coming from moderate-to-low risk homes, flood insurance for you is just as important as if you lived in a high-risk area.
If your home is high-risk for floods, you will need to purchase a standard policy, which covers your property and its contents separately. In fact, you are required by law to hold coverage if your mortgage lender is federally regulated or insured. Your lender should inform you if you need flood insurance during the process of securing your loan.
Choosing the Correct Flood Insurance Coverage
Flood insurance covers your home, its foundation, electrical and plumbing systems, permanent installations, built-in appliances, and detached garages. It also covers personal belongings such as furniture, clothing, electronics, and valuables worth up to $2,500. However, policies cover contents located on the first floor and above, but not possessions stored in the basement.
Flood insurance does not cover currency, financial losses, living expenses, possessions outside your home, nor preventable damage such as mold, moisture, and mildew.
You will normally need to wait 30 days to receive coverage; however, you can receive coverage immediately if you are securing a flood policy for a loan or mortgage. This is to avoid panic buying in the case a hurricane or storm is approaching.
Before You Buy…Before purchasing a policy, discuss these points with your insurance agent:
- How much coverage you need for your home and its contents
- The options you have to reduce your premium; for instance, if your community participates in the NFIP Community Rating System (CRS), you may qualify for a CRS rating discount.
- Whether the policy provides replacement cost value or actual cash value.
If you do not already own flood insurance, now is the time to make a purchase. Contact us at George A. Bell & Son for help and advice about finding the right insurance for your needs.