Flood Insurance Offers Homeowners Peace of Mind

by on December 30th, 2010
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As a young homeowner, years ago when my ex-husband and I bought our first home, we were required to take out home owner’s insurance. I remember declining the flood insurance coverage, thinking that could never happen, as we did not live in an area particularly prone to flooding. Years later, I would live to regret that decision.

Upon my divorce several years later, I was still living in the home for some time with my sons before leaving the area upon remarrying. I had removed most of our belongings from the home but still needed to return to clear it out completely and do some cleaning to prepare the home for sale. I had intentions of returning to the home very soon to complete these tasks, but soon discovered I was pregnant and was experiencing some complications with the pregnancy, which required me to postpone my return trip by a few weeks.

When I did return to the home, I opened the door to discover that disaster had struck in the meantime. I smelled an odd, musty odor upon entering, and couldn’t figure out what it could be. It seemed to be coming from the basement, so I ventured down there, only to discover that my basement was in standing water several inches deep. In the almost twelve years I had lived in the home, it had never experienced any water damage before this, and this was extensive damage. Heavy storms had hit the area while I was away, and this was apparently when it flooded. I knew it could not be attributed to burst pipes or plumbing issues, as the water had been turned off in the house.

What a nightmare! The finished family room was ruined, with the carpeting soaked through and drywall having acted like a sponge absorbing a lot of the water to ruin at least four feet of it on all sides of the room. Also, piles of clean laundry that I was coming back for were absolutely covered in wetness and mildew, stained beyond salvaging. The flood water damage had cost me hundreds in clothing, as well as carpeting and drywall, etc. I gave my insurance agency a call and they asked the mandatory questions, at first thinking that I https://contributor.yahoo.com/content/article/pending/?content_type_id=9374226was covered and could file a claim to cover these damages. After looking at the specifics of my policy, it was realized that I did not carry flood insurance, and since the water was from a weather event, not plumbing issues or other water sources, I was simply out of luck, and a lot of money. I was certainly left with a huge mess, along with wishing we had opted for flood insurance.

Flood damage is not covered by most homeowners policies, however can be obtained through the Federal Government Program known as the National Flood Insurance Program. If your insurance agent is enrolled in the NFIP Direct Program, you will be able to purchase flood insurance through your agent. They can write and service flood insurance coverage directly through this government program.Keep in mind there is usually a waiting period before protection goes into effect, typically 30 days. This program is only available in the United States.

Keep in mind that flood insurance will not cover other types of water damage such as sewer, drain, plumbing, or sump pump water issues, so you may ask your insurance agent what coverage from these types of incidents is available for your policy. About 25% of claims regarding flood loss involve areas that are not usually considered at great risk for flooding. As a homeowner who has regretted the decision to not carry flood insurance, I have definitely learned from my mistake the hard way. I would strongly encourage any homeowner to seriously consider this coverage.

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