Features of Flood Insurance

Were you aware of the fact that your home has a higher chance of being affected by a flood than a fire? As a matter of fact, floods are the primary cause of natural disasters in the U.S. Most people do not know that standard home insurance does not cover damages caused by flood, only flood insurance will help you recover from the losses.

Who Needs Flood Insurance?

Floods are a result of hurricanes and torrential rainfalls. Flood insurance becomes necessary when you are living in a high flood risk zone, but since flooding occurs in inland areas as well, which are away from rivers and coastal areas, you need it there as well.

Features of Flood Insurance

Coverages;

Most policies provide the following three types of coverages:

1. Building Coverage

This coverage protects your buildings against physical damages for both residential and non-residential properties.

2. Contents Coverage

It covers your personal belongings and objects inside the house such as ovens, clothes and furniture.

3. Replacement Cost Coverage

This helps you to reimburse the cost of replacing your house. Only single family owners can get this insurance and about 80% of the total replacement price can be reimbursed.

Waiting Period

There is a 30-day waiting period before the coverages comes into effect so do not wait for flood season to purchase the policy. This is also applicable to the changes made in the existing policy. This has been especially designed to prevent claiming coverage for losses that are in progress or if large storms are approaching. This period is not applicable to policy renewal.

What Is Covered And What Is Not?

Condos, homes, apartments, and even your businesses are eligible for flood insurance. Flood insurance policies are not as comprehensive as most homeowner policies. The policy generally covers dryers and washers, freezers and food inside them, stairways, water tanks, ceilings, oil tanks, walls and furnaces. The insurance company will pay for basic living expenses such as hotel and food while your home is being refurbished but it won’t pay for any additional living expenditure.
The flood insurance policy will extend to detached garages but you will have to pay for other structures if they qualify for coverage under a different flood policy. Policies also does not cover basement improvements and objects in basement.

Flood Insurance Limits

Insurance limits are the maximum amount the policy pays for sustained damages. If you meet losses greater than the policy limit then you are responsible for those. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) insures structural elements of the building up till $250,000 for residential buildings and $500,000 on non-residential buildings.

Contents coverage according to the program insures belongings up to $100,000 for residential policies and $500,000 for non-residential policies. Policies are available for excess coverage if you want to cover for losses more than the defined limits of NFIP.

Things To Do Before Hurricane Season Begins – How To Get Prepared For Flood Damage

Many people each year lose everything due to flood damage. It only takes a couple inches of water to cause thousands of dollars in damage. Flooding can happen anywhere, whether you live in a flood plain or not. Flooding can include heavy rains, storms or inadequate drain systems.

We encourage you to be proactive and find out how much flood insurance is in your area. Did you know a flood policy could be as low as $300 a year?

After getting flood insurance, there are several things you can do to minimize losses in your home and ensure your family’s safety.

1. Safeguard Your Possessions

Create a personal flood file containing information about all your possessions and keep it in a secure place, such as a safe deposit box or waterproof container. This file should have:

A copy of your insurance policies with your agents contact information. A household inventory: For insurance purposes, be sure to keep a written and visual record of all major household items and valuables, even those stored in basements, attics or garages. Create files that include serial numbers and store receipts for major appliances and electronics. Have jewelry and artwork appraised. These documents are critically important when filing insurance claims. Copies of all other critical documents, including finance records or receipts of major purchases.

2. Prepare Your House

First make sure your sump pump is working and then install a battery-operated backup, in case of a power failure. Installing a water alarm will also let you know if water is accumulating in your basement. Clear debris from gutters and downspouts.

Anchor any fuel tanks. Raise your electrical components (switches, sockets, circuit breakers, and wiring) at least 12 inches above your home’s projected flood elevation.

Place the furnace, water heater, washer, and dryer on cement blocks at least 12 inches above the projected flood elevation. Move furniture, valuables, and important documents to a safe place.

3. Develop A Family Emergency Plan

Create a safety kit with drinking water, canned food, first aid, blankets, a radio, and a flashlight. Post emergency telephone numbers by the phone and teach your children how to dial 911. Plan and practice a flood evacuation route with your family. Know safe routes from home, work, and school that are on higher ground.

Ask an out-of-state relative or friend to be your emergency family contact.

Have a plan to protect your pets.

Floods Are Everywhere, So How Can Insurance Cover Them All?

The world is sinking as sea levels rise and flooding happens more often. We are now seeing one in one-thousand of years events and houses are ruined, washed away, or otherwise destroyed. Those who re insured are often left out in the cold when they discover that the Insurance Company refuses their request for reimbursement. The reasons given are staggering and range from an Act of God to one forgot to include flood in their policy.

Under normal circumstances one might forget to include flood because they live well away fro a river or creek and their location has never experienced water rise before. This, however, is not a good reason to leave it off as some in the recent flooding of Victoria and parts of New South Wales discovered.

Huge storms and heavy rain sent an ocean of water rushing down from Queensland after the cyclone of 2010-2011. This impacted areas of NSW that left residents stunned. The man-holes in the streets lifted up as water poured out of the drainage system and flooded like creeks rushing through their homes.

The question is what is an act of God when it comes to insurance pay-out? Isn’t all the result of rain and natural events? Well, not exactly! The definition of such is that it is unavoidable through the use of caution and preventative measures. This allows many companies to find a loophole in your policy.

For instance, take the case of a flooded creek beside a property in Wollongong, NSW. This happened as the result of a massive storm but the insurance company avoided the pay-out, and why? Because it was determined that the landscaping around the house acted as channel for the water. This was found to be legitimate because the owner had contributed to the water entering the property.

While such companies have a huge burden on their hands in the light of the number of natural events one wonders whether insurance is the answer. The cost of it is a heavy impact on the hip pocket and if the end result is that one isn’t covered then wouldn’t the money have been better placed in a bank to earn interest over the years the policy had been running.

Insurance is a huge risk and whether or not one can safely enforce a claim the bottom line is that with so many floods and homes destroyed there has to be a breaking point. My answer is not to have insurance on anything but to trust in the Spirit to protect me. After all, if we are talking about an act of God then isn’t that the place to put your trust.

Norma Holt has knowledge that enables her to understand many issues. Political, social and behavioural problems are usually on her list for discussion as well as anything to do with the Spirit of the Universe and reincarnation, which she experienced. She is happy to hear from any of her readers.

Flood Insurance, Even in a Non-Flood Zone? You Bet

Record breaking flood waters have emerged following one of the most devastating hurricanes the US has come to know. In fact, in the south east areas of the lone star state, the majority of homeowners do not even own flood insurance. And who can blame them? There was never a precedent in the locality. Although hail and wind storms are a constant concern for property and business owners, no one imagined that rain waters would contribute to enormous damages as those suffered and broadcast throughout the country in recent days. Surely not the home mortgage companies, for they do not even require it from borrowers!

But now that the toll has risen among the dead and those forced out of their homes seeking shelter, one thing remains clear. When things eventually do settle down, home owners and people in the commercial sector will have to deal with the epic losses and damages on their own because of a lack of related coverage.

For homeowners without flood coverage the facts are uncomfortable, as they are painful: a standard home insurance policy does not protect from floods and the damages related to them. The insurance industry stresses in no uncertain terms that compensation is only provided to those who had the foresight to acquire flood insurance in the event of water damage emanating from atmospheric conditions like a hurricane, a tropical storm or other inclement weather.

A little history about Flood insurance:

The year was 1968 when the US Congress mapped out its flood program. Designed to help assist home and business property owners from the financial ravages of a damaging flood, its policies are offered in all communities that are involved in the rules of participation.

Flood coverage shields property owners or renters from building damage and contents damage.

This includes the following:

• The structure, as well as building foundation
• Electric and plumbing systems
• Central air conditioner, furnace, water heater
• Refrigerator, stoves, and any installed appliances, like a dishwasher
• Carpet that has been installed over bare flooring
• Personal clothing and electronics
• Drapery
• Transportable heaters and air conditioners
• Carpeting other than what is included in the property coverage
• Washers and dryers

Typically, flood recompense claims include:
• Replacement Cost Value: up to eighty percent of the amount needed to replace property damages in a single-family, primary residence
and
• Actual Cost Value – replacement costs at the time of loss reduced by physical depreciation

Note: The flood program always uses actual cost value to determine reimbursement of personal property.

What a Tsunami Risk Has in Common With a Nuclear War Threat

Insights from the Flood Insurance Specialists

There’s a war of words between the US president and the dictator of North Korea and it does not seem to bode well for America. As the evil ‘rocket man’ threatens to use nuclear force against the United States, the associated island located closest to the source is getting nervous.

The jittery feeling appears to be underscored by the government big wigs. “Get prepared,” they tell residents on the Pacific shoreline.

How exactly does one prepare oneself for an epic attack promised by someone who is intent on destruction? Officials cite a tsunami as the example.

The Pacific coast is no stranger to the fear of a tsunami. In the year 1957, in fact, what is referred as a ‘distant-source’ tsunami was generated in the region by an earthquake that occurred 2,100 miles away!

Insurance suppliers say the devastating results were five million dollars of property, auto and home damages.

In hindsight to that terrible event, emergency responders have devised a plan to minimize risks. The same plan officials now say residents should use if, Heaven Forbid, residents face a standoff with nuclear arsenal.

Here are the important steps to take if a tsunami or a nuclear threat looms.

• Learn about the risk at hand. Reach out to emergency groups for any information they can provide. Find out how much higher your street is to sea level and learn how far away your street is to the coastline and any other high-risk spots.
• Tourists should speak to hotel or motel personnel about risks and evacuation travel routes.
• Devise your own evacuation strategy by planning an escape route that takes you at least one hundred feet away from your residence – or in an upward direction that is two miles inland from the coast – or as further away as you can make it. Your plan should include escaping by foot within fifteen minutes from start time of evacuation. Follow any evacuation routes that have been officially posted along the way to safe shelters.

• Perform evacuation drills with your family during key times: day, night and during inclement weather.
• Confer with an experienced independent insurance agency in regard to flood coverage because your standard homeowner’s policy does not carry it.
• Keep posted about warnings and watching via the radio and social media.
• Sit your family down to discuss what to expect and make a plan in the event family members become separated.
• Fill your emergency kit with essentials such as an adequate supply of bottled water, non-perishable food items, medicine, flashlight, radio and other necessary things. Place your kit by the door so you can grab it quickly in the event of an emergency.