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Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Flood Insurance, Are you covered?

A message from Michael Brooks, Director of Sales at HUNT Insurance




One of the most complicated topics we deal with at HUNT Insurance is coverage for floods. Many people are unaware that homeowners insurance DOESN'T cover water damage from floods, sewer back-up and water seepage through the foundation. This peril is excluded on policies, as are other disasters such as earthquakes, power failure, nuclear hazards and war. For this reason, HUNT Insurance makes sure to include an affordable endorsement on every homeowners policy we write for water damage due to sewer back-up and sump-pump overflow, to protect our clients in case this happens (which is a pretty common occurrence.)

However, this still leaves exposure for floods, which is where flood insurance comes into play. Flood insurance is written through the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program), which means that the rates are the same no matter where you go for flood insurance. Premiums for flood insurance are based on what level of flood zone you live in, the amount of coverage required, whether or not your home is built in compliance to prevent floods, and of course your deductible which can range between $1,000 and $5,000. Mortgages on homes that are located in flood zones require the home to be insured for the amount of the mortgage. This is a cost that cannot be avoided if the home is in a flood zone.

Every area in the U.S. is mapped and designated with a flood zone. Those who aren't in high risk flood zones qualify for something called the Preferred Risk Program. This program offers premiums as low as $129/year, a low deductible and includes coverage for personal contents in the home. Even if you're in one of these moderate to low risk flood zones it is still advisable to obtain flood insurance. 20% of NFIP claims and one-third of disaster assistance goes to people in these areas.

For more information on flood insurance, you can always contact HUNT Insurance for quick
answers and quotes for flood insurance or you can go to www.floodsmart.gov for in depth information about the NFIP.

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