Tips for Picking the Proper Flood Insurance

 

flood insuranceTwo inches of water can cause nearly $8,000 damage to the average home, according to research conducted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

Not only is water-related damage one of the most common causes of an insurance claim, thanks to recent flood-zone revisions by FEMA, millions of homeowners are racing to find affordable flood insurance for the first time.

Unfortunately, selecting the best flood insurance isn’t always the easiest of tasks.

Following is a checklist to use when speaking with an agent about purchasing the right flood insurance protection for your property.

Timing

Many underwriters are restricted from writing a new flood policy once a major event is announced, so shop for flood insurance ahead of time.

Find out when the flood policy is scheduled to go into effect, and ask about purchasing a temporary policy during the interim.

Remember, flood insurance doesn’t always cost a lot.

Homes in low to moderate risk areas may qualify for preferred risk policies.

Policy Specifics

Understand what type of flooding is included and what is excluded, as well as which portion of the policy will cover the damage.

For example, high winds from a hurricane may result in water damage to exposed areas of the home, earthquakes can cause pipes to burst and even putting out a fire may result in extensive water damage.

Ask your agent what portions of the policy provide needed protection in different scenarios, and evaluate the deductibles, limitations and restrictions for each.

Review Your Risk

Updated flood maps have resulted in big changes.

Visit www.floodsmart.gov and enter your zip code to get an up-to-date listing of flood risks for your area.