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Flood Claim Tips

As our region continues to undergo some of the worst flooding we’ve seen in years we thought we’d provide these important flood claim tips for the benefit of our policyholders:

  • Call your Yennie & Jones agent as soon as you realize you will need to submit a claim
  • Check for structural damage before entering
  • Don’t dry anything that will have to be removed (carpet, drywall, insulation)
  • Take photos, save all receipts and track your time spent cleaning.
  • Make a list of damaged personal property
  • If property is removed (contents, drywall, carpet, carpet pad), keep it on the premises until released by a claims adjuster
  • We have included the Flood Claims Handbook to assist you in answering questions.

If you haven’t reviewed your insurance protection recently this is a good time to make sure that you have adequate coverage.  Remember that your homeowners or business owners policies do not cover ‘flood’ and a separate policy must be in place.

These flood claims tips also apply to some other water situations including:

  • Water backup or sump pump failure which may be covered if you have elected to include it on your home or business policy
  • Burst pipe claims which are covered on most property policies for occupied, heated structures
  • Groundwater runoff entering the premises which is caused by landscaping issues

Measure The Cost of Flooding

All it takes is a few inches of water to cause major damage to your home and its contents and unlike a fire or a burst pipe, flood damage isn’t covered by your homeowners policy.

The National Flood Insurance Program has developed an interactive tool that shows you what damage a flood could do to your home as the waters rise, inch by inch.  Measure the cost of flooding to your home, you’ll be surprised.

Homeowners Insurance Doesn’t Cover Flood

I came across this article on homeowners insurance that I think is good consumer level information…but not a replacement for having frank and detailed discussions with your agent:  Does homeowner’s insurance cover floods?

Good article describing some of the primary features of a typical homeowners policy.  Especially important to note is that homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flood!  If you want flood coverage you must purchase coverage separately.  Homeowners insurance generally does cover other water related claims though including things like water damage resulting from a tree putting a hole in your roof, water pipes breaking (usually through freezing) and may even cover water backing up through the drains (generally limited to $5,000 when it’s covered and only covered through endorsement).  In addition to ‘rising flood waters,’ homeowners insurance excludes coverage for groundwater runoff entering the home due to improper landscaping.

Talk with us about your individual situation and we can help you with insurance solutions and non-insurance suggestions to help minimize the impact of potential claims on your lifestyle.

One correction to the article:  Flood insurance over $250,000 is available…just not through the National Flood Insurance Program.  If you need flood protection for your building over $250,000 (or contents over $100,000) talk to us about adding ‘excess flood’ coverage through a private insurer program.

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