Hurricane Season - Best Time to Consider Flood Insurance
Friday, July 13, 2012 • 1:42pm
Hurricane season is officially here, which makes it a great time to consider flood insurance and if you have adequate protection before an emergency strikes. Typically, homeowner’s insurance policies do not include coverage for flooding, and it is difficult to predict when or where flooding will occur. In fact, over 30% of all flood losses occur in low to moderate risk areas.
A few facts you should consider when deciding if you need flood insurance are:
- Approximately 90% of all disasters in the U.S. are flood related
- Flood losses cost homeowners hundreds of millions of dollars annually
- The number of floods has increased in recent years as a result of changing weather patterns, the overbuilding of houses and the clearing of forests.
Even if you’ve never considered it before, it’s important to get protection against flooding now. Keep in mind that it takes 30 days for your policy to become effective, so let’s not wait until a storm is on its way to consider protecting your home.
If a storm does come, here are a few things you can do to prepare:
- If you’re an Allstate policyholder, write down this number and save it in your cell phone, 1-800-54-STORM (1-800-547-8676). You can call this number after a storm to file a claim
- Secure buildings on your property by closing and boarding up windows.
- Bring any objects that could be picked up by the wind inside (such as patio furniture, trash cans, and hanging plants). If an item cannot be brought inside make sure to anchor it down.
- Turn your refrigerator to its coldest setting
- Fill up bathtubs, sinks, and other large containers with fresh water
- If you must park outside, park your car as close to a building as possible, and away from trees or poles that may topple onto it.
- Make sure you fill your car’s gas tank in case you need to evacuate.
- Get emergency cash.
Remember, even an inch of water can cause damage to your property. The average flood loss is $48,000, while flood insurance is an affordable way to protect yourself and your family. Recently, in March of 2011, New Jersey experienced nearly 2,000 paid losses from torrential rain. The total paid amount was over $35 million, and the average paid amount was over $19,000. Another storm we can’t forget that occurred in our area last summer is Hurricane Irene. The damage caused by Hurricane Irene alone totaled $7.3 billion in damages. Up to 14 inches of rain fell on our state, causing rivers and roadways to flood and left many without power. In Cranford, one of the hardest-hit-areas, 15% of the township’s homes had significant flood damage. Call your insurance agent today to discuss ways to protect your home against flood damage.
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