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Flood Insurance: Expect the unexpected with both a policy and plan

Amidst historic flooding in California from the Atmospheric River, Coastal CEO David W. Clausen joined the team at Fox Weather to offer critical tips to homeowners on flood insurance and what homeowners should do before and after the flooding.

KEY Takeaways

Don’t Wait to Secure Coverage

Proactively securing flooding insurance for your home is critical as flood insurance has a waiting period. This means that coverage will not go into effect right away after purchasing the policy. Typically, there is a 30-day waiting period before coverage begins, so it is important to plan and purchase flood insurance well before the possible flooding is on your weather forecast.

While flood insurance is not always required by mortgage companies for homeowners in areas that are not considered high-risk flood areas, it’s often those areas that are affected the worst by unprecedented flooding. Unprecedented flooding can occur due to heavy rainfall, melting snow, or a failure of a man-made or natural flood protection system. These types of floods are not typically covered by standard homeowners insurance, and can cause significant damage to homes and personal belongings.

In high-risk flood areas, mortgage companies often require homeowners to purchase flood insurance as a condition of the mortgage. This is because the risk of flooding is considered to be higher in these areas, and the potential damage from a flood can be significant.

However, even if you don’t live in a high-risk flood area, it’s important to remember that floods can happen anywhere and at any time. According to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), 20% of flood claims come from properties outside of high-risk flood areas. This is why it’s important for homeowners to consider purchasing flood insurance, even if it’s not required by their mortgage company.

It’s also important to note that the cost of flood insurance can vary depending on the location and the level of risk. Because of this, the cost of flood insurance can be lower than most would expect for homes outside of high-risk areas. With Coastal Insurance, you can see for yourself how much it would cost to secure your home with flood insurance in less than 3 minutes with our online quoting.

Flooding Response

In the event of a flood, the safety of you and your family should take priority over protecting your belongings and property. If you are in a flood zone, it’s advised to evacuate the area if advised to do so by local authorities. If you are unable to evacuate, move to a safe location within your home, such as an upper floor or higher ground.

To prepare for a possible flood event, it’s important to take steps to protect your personal belongings and contents. This can include moving items to a higher level of your home, such as an upper floor or an attic. It’s also a good idea to take photographs or inventory of the items that you are moving, in case they are damaged or destroyed in a flood.

Prepare Your Basement

In preparation for a possible flood event, it’s critical to remove your contents from the basement. This is because only things like your HVAC systems and your electrical systems are typically covered under a flood insurance policy. Personal belongings and contents that are stored in the basement, such as furniture, clothing, and other items, are not typically covered.

Prevent Mold

Once everyone is secured and safe, it’s important to take steps to remove water and anything wet from your home. This is critical because mold is a major issue with flooding and is not covered under a flood insurance policy. Mold can cause serious health problems and can also cause additional damage to your home and belongings.

To remove water and anything wet, you can use pumps, wet-dry vacuums, and other equipment to remove the water. If the water is not too deep, you can also use mops and towels to remove the water. It’s important to remove as much water as possible as quickly as possible to prevent mold growth.

It’s also important to remove any wet or damaged items from your home. This includes carpet, furniture, clothing, and other items that were damaged by the flood. These items can harbor mold and other contaminants, and should be removed and disposed of safely.

Once the water and any wet or damaged items have been removed, it’s important to dry out the affected areas as quickly as possible. This can be done by using fans, dehumidifiers, and other equipment to dry out the affected areas.

Plan Ahead for Filing a Claim

Having a plan for filing a flood insurance claim is just as important as purchasing the insurance itself. In the event of a flood, it’s important to know the contact information for your insurance company and agent, as well as how to file a claim. This can include the phone number or website to file a claim, as well as the policy number and any other relevant information.

It’s also important to have a plan for filing a claim even without power. This can include having a backup way to contact your insurance company, such as a cell phone or a friend or family member’s phone. It’s also a good idea to have a hard copy of your policy and contact information, in case of power outages or other issues with electronic devices.

It’s important to file a claim as soon as possible after a flood event. This is because during a flood event, large numbers of claims are often filed all at once, and they are often worked on a first come first serve basis. By filing a claim right away, you can ensure that your claim is processed as quickly as possible.

It’s also important to document the damage as soon as possible. Take pictures of the damage and make a list of items that were lost or damaged. This will be very helpful when filing a claim. It’s also important to keep all receipts and invoices related to the flood damage, as these will be needed to document the loss.

Online Flood Insurance Quotes

Homeowners can compare flood insurance quotes online in minutes with Coastal. Simply enter your address and a few details about your home and you be comparing multiple online quotes in under 3 minutes.

About the Author

David W. Clausen is the CEO of Coastal Insurance Solutions. With over 20 years’ experience and over 1 billion insured, David and Coastal Insurance Solutions are the recognized leaders in high net worth insurance.  For the third consecutive year, David Clausen has been awarded Top Producer by Insurance Business America . David is a trusted high net worth insurance expert who’s published more than 200 articles. His articles & press releases have generated over 500K pageviews and has been featured on blogs such as Google News, Yahoo Finance, CNBC, Market Watch, Fox, The New York Times, etc.  David founded Coastal Insurance Solutions in 2001 after earning a BBA from the State University of New York College at Oswego.

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