If it rains where you live, it can flood at your house. Extreme weather, leading to hurricanes, storm surges, flash floods and rising bodies of water, is no longer a problem exclusive to coastal areas. Almost every home in America is potentially a flood zone.
A flood zone is simply a measure of risk. You may live in an area designated as low, moderate or high risk, but make no mistake: even low- and moderate-risk zones experience flooding. Between 20% and 25% of all flood claims come from low- to moderate-risk areas.1 The question is: What you can do about it?
Five inches of water in a 2,500-square-foot home can cause up to $45,000 worth of damage.2 Standard homeowner’s insurance policies do provide coverage for flood damage, so the best way to help protect your finances is to buy flood insurance to repair flood damage. It’s a good idea to learn which flood zone you live in to help determine whether or not to purchase insurance. To do so, enter your address at Realtor.com and check out the “Flood Factor” tool to gauge your home’s food risk on a scale of 1 to 10.
Premiums are determined by location, level of risk, design and age of the structure, amount of deductible, and extent of coverage. Policies renew annually, so be aware that new construction in your area can change the landscape and affect your flood plain and risk level.3 Typically, there is a 30-day waiting period before coverage begins, so don’t wait until hurricane season.
Basic flood insurance covers the building, built-in appliances, central heating and air conditioning systems, permanently installed paneling, wallpaper, cabinets and carpets. The garage is covered up to a 10% value of the total building. However, you may not be able claim personal property losses for inside your house or basement unless you also buy contents coverage.4
Here are a few tips to make it easier for you to make flood damage claims:5
- Take photos and/or video of your important possessions and bring this documentation with you during an evacuation or keep it in a safe place, such as the cloud. These documents can help you expedite a full-flood insurance claim.
- Once the flood has receded, take photos/video of any water in the house and residual water damage, including of personal property covered by your contents rider. It’s helpful to retain these items if you have a place to store them outside your home, as an insurance adjuster may request to see damaged items to begin processing your claim.
- Create a list of damaged or lost goods, including their age and value. If available, attach receipts. Moving forward, retain receipts of big-ticket items and keep them with your insurance policy in a safe (and high) location.
Investment advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through AE Wealth Management, LLC (AEWM), AEWM and Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions, Inc. are not affiliated companies. California Insurance License #OK48173 841830 – 03/21
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Investment advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals
through AE Wealth Management, LLC (AEWM). AEWM and Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions, Inc. are not affiliated companies. California
Insurance License # OK48173 814111 – 2/21
Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions Inc.
333 W. Shaw Avenue Suite 106
Fresno, CA 93704
1 Alex Soojung-Kim Pang. The Atlantic. April 30, 2020. “To Safely Reopen, Make the Workweek Shorter. Then Keep It Shorter.” https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/04/safely-reopen-make-workweek-shorter/610906/. Accessed June 2, 2020.
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Investment advisory services offered only by duly registered individuals through AE Wealth Management, LLC (AEWM). AEWM and Soutas Financial & Insurance Solutions, Inc. are not affiliated companies. 719276 – 12/20