Flood insurance could be the best investment you make - AmericaNowNews.com

Should you have flood insurance?

You probably pay homeowner's insurance every month, but when is the last time you read the fine print to see what's actually covered by your policy?

If it rains where you live, there's a chance it could flood. That's why flood insurance may be the best investment you ever make.

A flooding event can occur practically anywhere in the United States whether its caused by a hurricane, tsunami or heavy rains. 

Just a few inches of water in your home can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage.

In recent years, we have witnessed Hurricane Irene cause lots of flooding along the East Coast. Even the remnants of the massive storm system caused extensive flooding as far north as Vermont.

Towns in the Midwest have been destroyed due to rivers overflowing their banks.

Who could forget images of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and the damage she caused to New Orleans?

Tim Manning is the Deputy Administrator for Preparedness with the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Washington, DC. Over the years, he's witnessed first-hand the damaging effect of floods across the country.

"Even in the mountain desert west, flooding is the single most costliest disaster every year," Manning points out. 

According to the National Flood Insurance Program, within the last decade, the average flood claim is about $48,000.

Restoring a home and replacing the contents inside damaged by a flood can totally wipe out a person's savings.

What's surprising is that very few homeowners' policies actually cover flooding.

While you may think you have great insurance coverage, if the water rises and floods your home, you could be stuck cleaning up the mess and with a huge bill.

"It's important to have flood insurance, to protect yourself and cover your assets," Manning says.

Even if you don't own your home, you should consider getting flood coverage on the items you do own inside the house, condo, or apartment you rent.

Flood insurance depends on a number of things including the risk of flooding for your area. You can find that out online at FEMA's website by simply typing in your street address.

Wilmington, North Carolina, for example comes up as "moderate-to-low risk", but the results for Jackson, Mississippi, came back as "high-risk."

We even typed in America Now's address in Los Angeles, California, and found out its "moderate-to-low risk."

The website also gives you an idea of how much flood insurance will cost where you live.

"Insurance is probably the single most important thing somebody, a homeowner, can do to be prepared for a potential disaster," Manning says.  

Even if you already have flood insurance, experts say it's important to understand your policy, understand your risk, and be adequately insured.

"Being prepared is absolutely critical to protect your family, protect yourself and ensure you can weather that storm and you can come out the back end of that event none the worse for wear," Manning warns. 

It is important to remember there is a 30-day waiting period. So, don't sign up for flood coverage when you think a hurricane or flood is about to hit.

Additional Information:

  • Just a few inches of water from a flood can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage. Over the past 10 years, the average flood claim has amounted to nearly $48,000. Flood insurance is the best way to protect yourself from devastating financial loss. (Source: National Flood Insurance Program)
  • Flood insurance is available to homeowners, renters, condo owners/renters, and commercial owners/renters. Costs vary depending on how much insurance is purchased, what it covers, and the property's flood risk. (Source: National Flood Insurance Program)
  • Click here for information regarding the cost of flooding.
  • Click for additional information available on the National Flood Insurance Program website.

Copyright 2012 America Now. All rights reserved.

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