National Flood Awareness Week: Insurance
Updated: Thursday, March 21 2013, 09:59 AM EDT
COLUMBUS - (Release from AAA) Flooding can occur during any season, but is typically most prevalent during the early spring, when rain pours over frozen ground and causes runoff. Even those outside of designated flood zones may be at risk for spring floods. It’s not too late for homeowners to prepare their homes and families for a flood.
Just an inch of water can damage property, and flash floods can bring waves of water many feet high, according to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
“Floods are the number one disaster in the United States and they occur in all 50 states,” said Gayle Burke, director of Insurance at AAA Ohio Auto Club. “Some floods develop slowly, while flash floods can develop in just a few minutes, even without visible signs of rain. It’s important to understand what is and isn’t covered by your insurance policy.”
In most cases, additional insurance is needed to protect property from floods. Different floods require different insurance coverage:
- Flood Insurance: Federal law requires flood insurance for federally financed loans for those that live in high-risk flood zones. Lenders may also require flood insurance for moderate risk zones.
- Homeowners Insurance: Flooding can also occur due to clogged drains or pipes, sewer backup or sump pump failure. Flood insurance does not typically cover sewer backup or sump pump failure. In these cases, homeowners insurance can help cover the costs. Often this coverage is added to the policy as an endorsement.
- Comprehensive Auto Insurance: Spring floods can also damage vehicles. A comprehensive auto insurance policy is needed to cover the costs of a flooded vehicle.
The NFIP can help homeowners determine their flood risk and help them learn about safeguarding their property. For more information, visit floodsmart.gov.
An up-to-date home inventory can help flood victims get their insurance claim settled faster. It also helps people purchase the right amount of insurance, so they’re protected from loss.
The most effective way to take inventory of a home is to shoot video of the entire home.
Web Producer: Kellie Hanna