If you think most home-insurance policies cover disasters, think again. Flood is never a "covered peril" on a homeowners policy, no matter which company you choose to insure with. One third of homes damaged by Hurricane Sandy weren't covered by insurance and most of those that were didn't have adequate flood insurance. Living in the Gulf Coast area, a little knowledge can go a long way in making sure you have coverage in place before the next storm hits. Here's what you need to know about flood.
*Flood insurance can only be purchased through an insurance agent; you cannot buy it directly from the federal government.
*As with any other type of insurance, it's important to know what your policy does and doesn't cover. For example, damage caused by a sewer backup is only covered by flood insurance if it's a direct result of flooding. The damage is not covered if the backup is caused by some other problem.
*Deductibles apply separately to building and contents with different amounts to choose from. Like other insurance plans, a higher deductible will lower the premium you pay but will also reduce your claim payment. Your mortgage lender can also set a maximum amount for your deductible.
*Homes and businesses with mortgages from federally regulated or insured lenders in high-risk flood areas are required to have flood insurance. While flood insurance is not federally required if you live in a moderate-to-low risk flood area, it is still available and strongly recommended.
*The National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP, offers flood insurance, which can be purchased through most leading insurance companies. Rates are set and do not differ from company to company or agent to agent, so there is no need to "shop" different agents for flood quotes.
Typically, there's a 30-day waiting period from date of purchase before your policy goes into effect. So do not wait until you see a big storm brewing in the Gulf Coast.
Please give us a call at 281-444-3388 if you have any questions, or log on to www.floodsmart.gov
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