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The Russell Agency, LLC Blog

All You Ever Wanted to Know About Insurance

Don’t let your property just wash away

Melting snow and spring rains can cause flooding—even in areas that aren’t prone to flooding. Remember, even if you live

in a “1-in-a-100-years” flood zone, this could be the year.

You need to know: A standard homeowners policy will protect your home and your property in the event

of theft, fire and many other causes of damage. However, homeowners policies exclude water damage caused by

flooding or mudslides. So, you will need additional coverage. You can purchase a flood policy to cover your losses from this

type of water damage.

Here are some flood insurance facts:

1. Most flood insurance is written through the National Flood Insurance Program, although some insurers

will write private insurance (but not typically in Special Flood Hazard Areas—areas determined by the

Federal Emergency Management Agency as having a 1% chance of flooding annually).

2. Previously, the NFIP set rates based on geographic zones and elevation. The NFIP’s current pricing approach uses

the best available flood risk data to set premiums based on each property’s individual risk, including:

• likelihood of different types of flood perils (e.g., flash flooding, floods caused by waves or high-water levels,

coastal erosion and more); 

• characteristics of the building (i.e., foundation type, first floor elevation, etc.);

• elevation and distance from flooding sources (e.g., coasts, rivers and lakes);

• replacement cost value of the building (i.e., cost to rebuild after a disaster);

• ways a building is adapted to withstand floods (i.e., flood vents); and

• levee performance.

3. Coverage should insure your house’s structure, foundation, electrical and plumbing systems, cabinetry,

HVAC systems, built-in appliances and carpeting. Debris removal also is available.

4. Contents coverage can cover: furniture, clothes, curtains, area rugs, electronics, small appliances, and certain valuables.

5. What’s not covered: Other structures on the premises other than a garage (10% of the dwelling amount); finishes, walls,

floors, ceilings or personal belongings in a basement; and living expenses while flood damage is being repaired.

6. The maximum NFIP limit for a home is $250,000 and $100,000 for contents coverage. Excess coverage in the private

market may be available.

Many mortgage companies require homeowners to purchase flood insurance as a requirement for their loan, but you

should examine your house’s risk even if you don’t need a mortgage as recent storms have caused areas with no prior

history of flooding to be overrun by water. 

The perfect time to prepare for a disaster is before it happens. Call our agency today.