Tag Archives: flood insurance

NFIP (1)

Most homeowners insurance policies do not cover flood damage. Any losses you incur because of flooding will come out of your own pocket without a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy. If you think flooding won’t happen in your area, think again. With the monster rainy season experts are predicting, anything can happen.

The NFIP warns that “flood risk isn’t just based on history, it’s also based on a number of factors: rainfall, river-flow and tidal-surge data, topography, flood-control measures, and changes due to building and development.” The NFIP offers flood insurance to homeowners, renters, and business owners if their community participates in the NFIP. Coverage is only available through an authorized agent or broker and cannot be purchased directly from the government.

So what is covered by a NFIP policy?

Building Property: The insured building and its foundation; Electrical and plumbing systems; Central air conditioning equipment, furnaces and water heaters; Refrigerators, cooking stoves and built-in appliances such as dishwashers; Permanently installed carpeting over unfinished flooring; Permanently installed paneling, wallboard, bookcases and cabinets; Window blinds; Detached garages (up to 10 percent of building property coverage); detached buildings (other than garages) require a separate building property policy; and Debris removal.

Personal Property: Personal belongings, such as clothing, furniture and electronic equipment; Curtains; Portable and window air conditioners; Portable microwave ovens and portable dishwashers; Carpets that are not included in building coverage; Clothing washers and dryers; Food freezers and the food in them; and Certain valuable items such as original artwork and furs (up to $2,500)

What is NOT Covered? This is very important to know: Damage caused by moisture, mildew or mold that could have been avoided by the property owner; Currency, precious metals and valuable papers such as stock certificates; Property and belongings outside of an insured building such as trees, plants, wells, septic systems, walks, decks, patios, fences, seawalls, hot tubs and swimming pools; Living expenses such as temporary housing; Financial losses caused by business interruption or loss of use of insured property; and Most self-propelled vehicles such as cars, including their parts.

While most homes in California don’t have basements, where coverage is limited, other areas (below the lowest floor) also have restrictions. These areas include: Crawl spaces under an elevated building; Enclosed areas beneath buildings elevated on full-story foundation walls that are sometimes referred to as “walkout basements;” and Enclosed areas under other types of elevated buildings;

Be sure to speak with your insurance professional to make sure you have all the coverage you need. Don’t be left high and dry.

flood damageThe winter storm warnings for California are dire. According to reports, we all need to brace ourselves for El Niño and an onslaught of rain. But you say you don’t live in a traditional area for mudslides, and have never once seen a flood. Just remember how full the sewers get after a steady rain, especially when the ground is hard and not absorbing any water.

Of  course, it’s better to be safe than sorry. The National Flood Insurance Program (www.floodsmart.gov) has produced an excellent series of tips to keep your home and family safe.

  • Make sure your sump pump is working and then install a battery-operated backup, in case of a power failure. Installing a water alarm will also let you know if water is accumulating in your basement.
  • Clear debris from gutters and downspouts.
  • Anchor any fuel tanks.
  • Raise your electrical components (switches, sockets, circuit breakers, and wiring) at least 12 inches above your home’s projected flood elevation.
  • Place the furnace, water heater, washer, and dryer on cement blocks at least 12 inches above the projected flood elevation.
  • Move furniture, valuables, and important documents to a safe place.
  • If flooding occurs, go to higher ground and avoid areas subject to flooding.
  • Do not attempt to walk across flowing streams or drive through flooded roadways.
  • If water rises in your home before you evacuate, go to the top floor, attic, or roof.
  • Listen to a battery-operated radio for the latest storm information.
  • Turn off all utilities at the main power switch and close the main gas valve if advised to do so.
  • If you’ve come in contact with floodwaters, wash your hands with soap and disinfected water.

Check with your insurance professional about obtaining flood insurance and find out what your homeowners policy does and does not cover,. Don’t be caught short if you need to make a claim. Be proactive, not reactive.