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Does my insurance protect my home and auto from a flood?

Posted by Scott Stueber on Oct 31, 2012 12:58:00 PM

bigstock Flooding 7627203Like many of you, I’ve been watching the TV coverage of Hurricane Sandy. My family and I not only felt empathy for the people on the East Coast, we also had questions about all the destruction caused by Hurricane Sandy. My ten-year-old daughter was concerned about the hurricane itself. Her questions to me were:

1. Is the hurricane going to wreck our house?
2. Will all the water come to West Bend?

She was glad her bedroom was on the second floor.

The questions I had were:

1. Do the cars that are floating down the street have coverage? I never really gave that much thought until I saw it on TV.
2. How does my insurance policy cover my home for flood damage?

In doing some research, I did confirm that a car floating down the street has coverage if the owner carries “other than collision”, or comprehensive, coverage on the policy. Some of the kinds of losses covered with comprehensive coverage are:
1. Fire;
2. Theft;
3. Windstorm;
4. Hail, water or flood; and
5. Vandalism.

As for damage to my home or its contents that’s caused by a flood, there is no coverage under a standard homeowners’ or renters’ insurance policy. So if you live near a body of water, or in an area that occasionally floods, you should look into buying flood coverage from the National Flood Insurance Program.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was created by Congress in 1968 to help protect property owners from the financial devastation of a flood. Communities that participate in this program must follow and enforce ordinances that meet or exceed Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) requirements. According to the official site of the NFIP, the average flood insurance policy costs about $600 a year. There’s a 30-day waiting period for new policies. After seeing the destruction on the East Coast, $600 seems fairly reasonable.

To learn more about flood coverage, visit www.floodsmart.gov.

To learn more about what your insurance policy covers, contact your local independent agent.

Do you have any flood safety tips? I’d love to hear them; please share them in the box below.

Topics: Auto Insurance, Home Insurance, Weather

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