Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Water, water, everywhere...

I’ve gone back and forth over the years with clients both for homeowners and business owners about the importance of Flood Insurance. Did you know that out of all of the types of “what-if’s” that can happen that water can do the most damage? You know this if your basement has ever filled with water, your water heater broke, or even if it has rained for days and there is no place for the rain to go. Just a few inches of water can cause tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars of damage and can be both emotionally & financially draining if you don’t have the proper coverage in place.

I know what you are thinking – “But I don’t live in a flood zone. My mortgage company doesn’t require it, so why should I have it?”

Here is why:

1.) Because a flood can occur anywhere and at anytime quickly without warning. This is the definition of what we call Flash Flooding. You know that rain that comes from nowhere & has no place to go…so it goes into your house and anyplace it can travel? That is Flash Flooding.

2.) Because there is no coverage for this type of loss on your homeowners insurance.

Flood Defined
The National Flood Insurance Program defines a flood as “A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or of two or more properties (at least one of which is you property) from:

· Overflow of inland or tidal water

· Unusual or rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from ANY source

· Mudflow

· Collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or similar body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels that result in a flood as defined above. “

Is Flood Insurance Really Worth It?
Take in point this scenario: You live on .25 acres and so do your neighbors and your neighbor’s pool breaks and is now on yours and their property – you now have a flood. Why? Because this is considered by the NFIP “an unusual rapid accumulation of surface waters from ANY source with partial inundation of two or more properties.” So if you have flood coverage, you would be covered up to the limits of the policy, which you would discuss with your agent.

Ok. So How Much Can I Get & What Does It Cost Me?
You can purchase up to $250,000 on your home and up to $100,000 on contents. Businesses can purchase up to $500,000 through the NFIP. The cost of the Flood Insurance can vary based on if you live in a Flood Zone and on how much coverage you need. If you are curious, you should contact you agent.

Can I Get Flood Insurance Even If I’m Not In a Flood Zone?
Yes! Actually a flood – or flash floods can happen anywhere even if your not in a “flood zone.” The good news is that flood insurance for you, is less expensive than if you live in a flood zone.

How & When Can I Buy Flood Insurance?
You can purchase flood insurance at any time, whether you live in a flood zone or not, but be aware that in most cases, there is a 30-day waiting period unless your mortgage company is requiring it. Call your agent for more information on how you can purchase flood insurance and for more information. Or visit the FEMA Website which can also give you more information. or visit

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