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As many areas brace for severe
weather, flooding from torrential rains, storm surge, or raging
tides may top the list of storm threats. The flood experts
at Bankers Insurance Group, one of the nation's leading carriers
of flood insurance, advise homeowners to take steps now to
protect their property and possessions.
- Make video or photo records
of your property, indoors and out. Include pictures
of furnishings, electronics, clothes, and your most valuable
household items. Gather any receipts for major purchases.
All this will help a homeowners insurance adjuster if you need to
file a claim.
- Create an emergency file
of documents and information you will need if your home
is flooded. Include the itemized record described above,
along with your homeowners insurance quotes policies, auto and flood insurance policies,
identification and proof of health insurance, and an emergency
supply of cash. Put this file in a safe, flood-proof place
where you can retrieve it easily.
- Check the outside of your
home for items that might come loose and float or blow away,
creating even more damage. Such items include patio
furniture, awnings, grills, garbage cans, garden tools and
large toys. Secure them or bring them inside.
- Consider measures to flood-proof
your house. Some options include moving valuable or
irreplaceable items to high shelves or to the highest floor
in the house, purchasing sandbags, building plywood shutters
or, for the future, having vinyl hurricane shutters installed.
(Taping windows may keep them from shattering, but it won't
keep them from breaking.)
- Review your homeowners insurance quotes policy coverage.
Be sure you know what is covered and what isn't. Federal
flood insurance is the only insurance that covers flood
losses; homeowners insurance doesn't. The government has
a 30-day waiting period on most new flood insurance policies,
so initiating a policy in advance of severe weather is essential.
- Don't count on federal
disaster assistance. People often overestimate the extent
of federal aid. Federal disaster assistance only becomes
available when the President declares a national disaster.
Even then, federal aid is usually in the form of a small
grant - averaging about $2,500 - or a loan that must be
repaid with interest.
Most insurance agents who write
homeowners insurance quotes policies can also write federal flood policies.