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Facts and Questions to ask your insurance agent when purchasing flood insurance.

Picture Credit: Nasa https://www.space.com/hurricane-dorian-nasa-kennedy-space-center-prep.html

 

FLOOD

FACT: Floods are the nation’s most common and costly natural disaster and cause millions of dollars in damage every year. Recovering from just one inch of water inside your building can cost about $27,000. 

FACT: Homeowners and renters insurance do not typically cover flood damage.

FACT: Floods can happen anywhere--More than 20 percent of flood claims come from properties outside the high-risk flood zone.

FACT: Flood insurance can pay regardless of whether or not there is a Presidential Disaster Declaration.

FACT: A claim against your flood insurance policy could and often does, provide more funds for recovery than those you could qualify for from FEMA or the SBA--and you don't have to pay the money back.

 

What questions should I ask to get the coverage I need?

talk to your insurance agent about flood insurance. Here are helpful questions to ask your agent:

  • What flood zone do I live in? What is my property's flood risk? Is there a flood map (see note below) change coming that could affect what I pay?

  • Is flood insurance mandatory for my property? Will the lender require it?

  • Do I qualify for a Preferred Risk Policy?

  • Does my community participate in the National Flood Insurance Program's Community Rating System (CRS)? If so, does my home qualify for a CRS rating discount?

  • What will and won't be covered?

  • Will the federal government back my flood insurance policy?

  • How much coverage should I get for my building and for my contents?

  • How can I reduce the cost of my flood insurance?

  • Are there additional expenses or agency fees?

  • Will my policy provide Replacement Cost Value or Actual Cash Value—and what's the difference between the two?

  • Who should I call if I have a flood claim?

  • How can I pay for my policy?

  • How do I renew my policy?

What Is An Elevation Certificate And Why Might I Need One?

Your insurance agent may ask you for an Elevation Certificate (EC). This certificate verifies your building's elevation compared to the estimated height floodwaters will reach in a major flood in a high-risk flood area.

It's also beneficial to ask if your community participates in the Community Rating System (CRS), because this could mean local officials already have a copy of your EC on file. Policyholders with insured properties in communities that participate in CRS may be eligible for policy discounts.

A property owner in a high-risk flood area always has the right to purchase an EC, which may reduce your flood insurance premium. Please contact a licensed insurance agent for further information.


Information from this article found here. Check out more info: https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program/How-Buy-Flood-Insurance

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South Florida Guide To Hurricane Terms



When tropical weather including tropical storms loom too close for comfort, weather forecasts are filled with new terms and ideas that can be confusing especially to people new to South Florida. These will help you understand hurricane season, as well as help you feel confident facing South Florida's storm season. 


Tropical Depression

An organized system of clouds and thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 38 MPH (33 knots) or less. Sustained winds are defined as a one-minute average wind measured at about 33 ft (10 meters) above the surface.

 

 

Tropical Storm

An organized system of strong thunderstorms with a defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 39–73 MPH (34–63 knots).

 



Hurricane 

An intense tropical weather system of strong thunderstorms with a well-defined surface circulation and maximum sustained winds of 74 MPH (64 knots) or higher.


Storm Surge

A dome of water pushed onshore by hurricane and tropical storm winds. Storm surges can reach 25 feet high and be 50–1000 miles wide.


Storm Tide

A combination of storm surge and the normal tide (i.e., a 15-foot storm surge combined with a 2-foot normal high tide over the mean sea level created a 17-foot storm tide).


Hurricane/Tropical Storm Watch

Hurricane/tropical storm conditions are possible in the specified area, usually within 36 hours. 


Tune in to NOAA Weather Radio, commercial radio, or television for information.

Hurricane/Tropical Storm Warning

Hurricane/tropical storm conditions are expected in the specified area, usually within 24 hours.

Short Term Watches and Warnings

These warnings provide detailed information about specific hurricane threats, such as flash floods and tornadoes.


SOURCE: FEMA

 



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What Perils Are Covered By A Homeowners Insurance Policy?

 

A peril is an event that may damage your home or belongings. Perils are covered by your homeowners insurance and they are listed in your policy.

Listed below are what the  Insurance Information Institute say are the most common perils covered by a homeowners insurance policy:

Check your homeowners insurance policy to learn what perils it covers.

The perils and descriptions below come from an allstate article here.

FIRE AND SMOKE

A home, belongings and structures like a garage or shed are all usually covered for fire damage (including smoke damage). If the condition of the home requires its residents to live elsewhere for a time, a policy will typically help reimburse for those expenses as well.

LIGHTNING STRIKES

Damage from lightning is typically covered by homeowners insurance. Some policies will also extend that protection to power surges that happen as a result of a strike, covering, for instance, damaged electronics.

WINDSTORMS AND HAIL

Wind damage — even when it's from a tornado — is normally a covered peril. Protection usually also includes hail damage, or wind-driven rain or snow that gets inside after a home has been damaged by a storm. Read your policy, though, to learn of any exclusions.

EXPLOSION

Whether it's from an aerosol can or a propane grill, it's never good when something explodes in or around a home. Damage resulting from such explosions is usually covered by homeowners insurance.

VANDALISM AND MALICIOUS MISCHIEF

Homeowners insurance typically covers damage that results from such acts. That would include repairing or rebuilding your home, or replacing your possessions if they were damaged by the event.

DAMAGE FROM AN AIRCRAFT, CAR OR VEHICLE

It may not be often that a plane or car crashes into a home, but when it happens, the images can be pretty dramatic. The good news is that most homeowners policies help pay to repair damage resulting from such an event.

THEFT

If an intruder breaks a window or door to gain access to your home, insurance will likely cover the damage. Items that are actually stolen are generally also protected by the personal property coverage that's part of most homeowners insurance policies. But you should know that most policies have limits on how much they'll pay out for specific types of personal property. You may be able to purchase additional coverage for those items.

FALLING OBJECTS

If your home is damaged by a falling object, whether it's a meteor or a healthy tree that topples in a storm, homeowners insurance may help pay for the damage.

WEIGHT OF ICE, SNOW OR SLEET

When the weight of heavy, wet snow or ice causes your roof to cave in, you'll find that your homeowners insurance will typically help cover the loss — for the damage to your home and your property inside.

WATER DAMAGE

Most homeowners policies will cover water damage from burst pipes or water heaters when the cause is sudden and accidental (but not the damage to the pipe or water heater if they burst because of defect or wear and tear). So, if your water heater bursts and soaks your drywall, you're likely protected from the water damage. Water damage from a flood requires a separate flood insurance policy. Water damage from water backup from sewers or drains or overflow of water from a sump pump typically requires additional optional coverage.

 

A homeowners insurance policy may help cover damage resulting from a number of incidents, but likely also comes with a list of scenarios that it won't cover. Also, remember that coverage limits and deductibles will apply. Get informed about the specifics of your coverage by reviewing your policy, or call your agent with questions.

 

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