The Shopper Deals: Tips for buying Flood Insurance
By LaTina Emerson, Coweta’s Deal Finder
The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season lasts until Nov. 30, and it has become one of the most active seasons on record, with 13 tropical storms and major hurricanes named so far. Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, Jose and Maria have brought devastation to the United States and Caribbean with high winds, heavy rains and massive flooding, and meteorologists predict the season is far from over.
Coweta County isn’t located on the coast, but the wind and rainfall from hurricanes can be far-reaching, as recently demonstrated by Hurricane Irma. What would you do if your home became flooded during a storm? Do you have proper insurance to cover the damage? The answer for most people is: no.
Edward Morris of Morris & Spradlin Insurance Group at 184-A Jefferson Parkway in Newnan has been answering lots of flood-related questions from customers since Hurricane Harvey.
Morris, a licensed insurance agent, shares his expertise on flood insurance with The Shopper:
“If you are asking yourself the question, will my homeowners insurance provide coverage for my home during the next 1,000-year flood as was recently experienced in Houston, the answer is probably no. Most basic homeowner policies don’t protect against flood damage even though floods cause more property damage in the United States than any other type of natural disaster. It doesn’t take a foot of water to ruin property. Only an inch of water can lead to thousands of dollars’ worth of damage to your home.”
“To fully protect your home, you would need to obtain a Flood Insurance policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). You can purchase flood insurance as long as your community participates in the NFIP – and most communities do. Your local insurance agent can assist you in obtaining coverage, but don’t wait until the flood water is at your door steps before calling your agent, as most flood polices require a 30-day waiting period before they go into effect. If you don’t live in a flood plain, you can obtain flood insurance coverage for less than $300 per year, with higher premiums for homes located in a flood plain.”
The following link will show if your home and area are located in a flood zone. Just enter your address: http://www.georgiadfirm.com/.
The following FEMA link provides useful information regarding what Flood Insurance will cover and not cover due to a flood loss: https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1432130966606-ec9a9793a03f4a4b5655de0db708a256/Fact_Sheet_What_is_Covered-508.pdf.
Morris & Spradlin Insurance Group can be reached at 770-683-6793 or www.msinsurance.org.
FEMA reports that your NFIP policy will cover the following flood damage for one-to-four family residential buildings and single-family dwelling units in a condominium building:
• Electrical and plumbing systems
• Furnaces, water heaters, heat pumps and sump pumps
• Refrigerators, cooking stoves and built-in appliances, such as dishwashers
• Permanently installed carpeting over an unfinished floor
• Permanently installed paneling, wallboard, bookcases and cabinets
• Window blinds
• Foundation walls, anchorage systems and staircases attached to the building
• Detached garage, used for limited storage or parking
• Cisterns and water in them
• Fuel tanks (and fuel in them), solar energy equipment, well water tanks and pumps
• Personal belongings, such as clothing, furniture and electronic equipment
• Portable and window air conditioners
• Portable microwaves and dishwashers
• Carpet not included in building coverage (carpet installed over wood floors)
• Clothes washers and dryers
• Certain valuable items, such as original art work and furs (up to $2,500)
• Food freezers and food in them (not refrigerators)