How Does Flood Insurance Work and How Can Carolinas Avail It.
Are you one of the home and commercial owners who suffered from the flooding effects of Hurricane Florence? Here’s how you can avail of flood insurance to protect your properties from the current and upcoming calamities.
The Catastrophic Flooding
Just last week, Hurricane Florence lambasted the North Carolina coast and dumped at least 2 feet of rain, flooding the thousands of residential and commercial areas in the process. As if that wasn’t enough, the Hurricane threatens to flood the neighboring South Carolina State and the Tar Heel state as it makes its way over these places. While most homeowners face the damaging effects of the catastrophic flooding, most of them also lack the right insurance to cover these costs. They may end up paying for the damages and fixes by themselves.
It’s because most homeowners insurance generally won’t cover any flood-related losses. According to Insurance Information Institute spokeswoman Lynne McChristian, most home insurers exclude calamities like flooding in their coverage, the same is true for the renters’ insurance. She adds how the flooding comes as an uninsurable risk due to the widespread damage it caused on many homes. However, this can be prevented by getting a specific insurance, namely the flood insurance.
What Is Flood Insurance?
The National Flood Insurance Program designed a specific insurance policy to help restore your home and replace all your damaged possessions before the flood occurred. Most NFIP policies can cover up to $250,000 for your house structure, and it gives an additional $100,000 lump sum to replace your damaged possessions.
If you’re living in a flood-prone area, Santos recommends you should avail of an additional coverage from private insurers. Or if not, you can ask whether your mortgage lenders also offer a flood insurance. According to him, most mortgage lenders require their customers to also get a flood insurance, especially in flood-prone areas. Additionally, you’ll also be eligible for future federal aid if you have a flood insurance.
How Does Flood Insurance Work?
To prevent the surge of unusual flood policy application especially after a hurricane, most flood insurers implement a 30-day waiting period after the weather disturbance before the insurance to take effect. This means you cannot buy an insurance policy quickly as a hurricane approaches your area. Aside from that, the policy must be renewed each year. If you’re serious in availing of the policy, you must plan ahead of time. You can contact your home insurance providers on how to get an NFIP policy. If not, you can also contact your insurance broker or agent to see if they offer NFIP policies too.
Your premium payments will also depend on your deductibles, home characteristics, and flood risk assessment. According to McChristian, the average annual premium is around $600-$700, especially for those who live in flood-prone areas. But if you live on the coast, the premium might increase up to thousands of dollars since the risk is greater in this area.
You can simply contact your insurance provider to file for a flood damage claim once the weather condition is safe. A claims adjuster then will go to your home to assess the damage and determine which are included in the coverage. It’s also important to take a picture of your house and possessions before and after the event. This serves as an inventory and evidence as the NFIP releases checks to pay for their clients’ losses associated with flooding.
For Non-Flood Insurance Clients
While you may have to pay for all your losses if you don’t have a flood insurance, you can still get small disaster grants from the Federal Emergency Management Agency. They offer $5,000 cash assistance for household owners affected by the flooding. It may not be much compared to a flood insurance claim of $30,000, but at least there’s help.
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