Property and Casualty Profile – April

All About Flood Insurance: Are You Prepared for a Flood?

In This Issue

  • Are you prepared for a flood?
  • Flooding due to Surface Water.
  • National Flood Insurance Program changes in DC.
  • A real testimonial on why you need flood insurance.

Did You Know?

New flood insurance policies usually have a 30-day waiting period, so don’t delay in protecting one of your most valuable assets—your home.

Are You Prepared?

When A Flood Watch Is Issued:

  • Move your furniture and valuables to higher floors of your home.
  • Fill your car’s gas tank, in case an evacuation notice is issued. When

A Flood Warning Is Issued:

  • Gather emergency supplies and fill bathtubs with clean water.
  • Tune your radio to weather updates, disaster directions and signals.
  • If you must evacuate, take only essential items with you.
  • Move to higher ground away from rivers, streams, creeks and storm drains.

After A Flood:

  • Throw away food that is not safe to eat and use bottled water until the local authorities have determined that tap water is safe to drink and to use for cooking.
  • Stay away from damaged buildings and structures.
  • Do not touch fallen power lines.
  • Do not turn on your power until a qualified electrician has determined that it is safe to do so.
  • Wear protective clothing when handling hazardous materials or cleaning up mold.
  • Clean up flood damage promptly.

Remember, new flood insurance policies usually have a 30-day waiting period, so don’t delay in protecting one of your most valuable assets—your home. Contact Montoya & Associates today for more information on flood insurance.

Coverage in Action: Why Do I Need Flood Insurance?

When floodwater from a severe, week-long storm started pouring through the walls of Becky Bentley’s house, she knew she had to get out fast. In the short time it took her and her son to run upstairs to grab the family cat, the rapidly rising water trapped them on the second floor of their home.

With the help of a neighbor, they manage to escape. But when the water receded and Becky finally returned to her Atlanta property, she discovered most of the contents and drywall were unsalvageable. She thought her homeowners insurance would cover the losses; but found out most standard homeowners policies do not cover flood damage.

“The water got so high, everything was just destroyed,” Becky told the National Flood Insurance Program. “I didn’t have flood insurance because I wasn’t in a flood plain, so we were told we didn’t need it.”

Floods are the number one natural disaster in the United States. While some regions, such as coastal areas, are more flood-prone than others, the unpredictability of climate change exposes all property to some risk. And torrential rainfall isn’t the only culprit. Flooding is also caused by mudflows, rapid snowmelt during spring and ice jams during winter.

Even an inch of water can cause thousands of dollars in damage, shocking those who find out flood losses are specifically excluded from their homeowners and personal umbrella policies.

Flood insurance provides the protection you need to cover losses after a flood ravages your property. The cost of premiums vary based on the amount of coverage you need, what’s covered and your property’s flood risk.

DON’T FORGET: New flood insurance policies usually have a 30-day waiting period unless there is a mortgage company requirement to have it in place—DON’T DELAY TO PROTECT YOUR HOME. Contact Montoya and Associates today for more information on flood insurance.

Safety First – Prepare a family disaster plan by doing the following:

  • Keep insurance policies and other valuables in a safety deposit box.
  • Identify where you could go if you were told to evacuate. Choose several places, such as a friend’s home in another town, a motel or a shelter.
  • Keep written instructions for how and when to turn off electricity, gas and water if the authorities advise you to do so.

Home Matters

Did You Know that the primary reason your basement and home can flood during a rainstorm is due to poor or blocked drainage? To help you keep water from seeping into places it’s not wanted, use the following precautionary measures you can take to protect your home and its belongings from flooding due to surface water.

Flooding Due To Surface Water

Use these simple prevention tips to avoid flooding in your home:

  • Make sure that the ground area within 10 feet of your home slopes away from your home’s foundation.
  • Extend downspouts at least 10 feet from your home.
  • Direct water flow from downspouts away from your home, being careful not to discharge the water too close to adjacent property.
  • Preventive landscaping can also help reduce the chance of a mudslide or flooding.
  • Clean the gutters and the drainage downspouts attached to your roof at least twice a year.
  • Have your roof carefully inspected at least once a year by a capable person to check the roof thoroughly.
  • If your house or commercial lot is at risk of flooding from a higher neighboring property, consider building a solid wall masonry fence on the water-vulnerable boundaries of your property.
  • Be vigilant for warning signs of an impending water flood problem

Plan ahead! If flooding occurs, be familiar with how to shut off electricity, gas and water at main switches and valves. Knowing how to do this ahead of time will help you to react quickly and minimize potential damages.

Preliminary Flood Maps

FEMA is working across the nation to update the current Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM). Below is a list of areas where maps are currently being updated. This data provide the public an early look at a home or community’s projected risk to flood hazards. See the maps before they become effective: South Atlantic Flood Maps.

Did your flood insurance Premium increase?

“What’s up with all the premium increases on my insurance policy?”

We know that you may have this question and to help you understand why visit: NFIP Premium Increases

Download the Full Newsletter Here: Property & Casualty Profile – April 2017