Nobody likes to think about natural disasters and their effects on a home. Unfortunately, it’s important for homeowners to consider these effects adequately prepare for them. A major component of preparedness is making sure that adequate insurance is in place for your home. This includes flood insurance. Most people don’t realize that standard homeowners’ insurance policies don’t cover damages caused by flooding.
In the last 10 years, 75% of Georgia’s 159 counties have suffered enough flooding to warrant a federal disaster declaration. But there are around 100,000 flood insurance policies statewide. This means that only a small percentage of Georgia homeowners are adequately protected in the event of flooding. State and federal disaster grants may be available to flood victims. But they are not intended to replace whole households. These grants are designed to help flood victims start on their recovery.
Everyone lives in a “flood” area. No matter where your home is located, there is always a risk of flood. A flood can come from a river or from heavy and sudden rain. However, rates will vary depending on where your home is located. Houses that are located on flood plains will cost more to insure against flood damage. Houses located in low-risk and elevated areas will have lower rates. Water damage and flood damage are not the same. Not all damage caused by water will be covered by flood insurance. Damage that is considered to be flood damage includes overflowing inland or tidal waters; unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters, and mudflow.
Another common mistake homeowners make with flood insurance is waiting. Many homeowners will wait to purchase flood insurance only when the threat of a flood is imminent. In general, most flood insurance policies have a 30-day waiting period before they go into effect. Don’t wait to purchase flood insurance. Instead, reach out to several agents, weigh your options and make your purchase as soon as possible. Make sure to inventory your possession as well. While this might seem like a tedious and time-consuming task, it will be invaluable should you find yourself trying to recover from a flood.