After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, I dealt with a lot of homeowners as they evacuated to our area. Even though their insurance policy was not with our Florida agency, they just wanted an agent to talk to that could perhaps offer some peace of mind. I sat and listened to countless people tell of their house being destroyed and hoping that their Homeowners policy would cover the Flood damage. It broke my heart to look at them and tell them it would not. Their reactions were generally one of two things – “I didn’t think I needed Flood insurance” or “I didn’t know Flood Insurance was available”. Emotions and vulnerability come out during natural disasters and it was not uncommon to watch complete strangers cry. I learned then that when there isn’t much that you can do, a hug can give a person hope; I hugged a lot of strangers during that time.
It often takes a catastrophic disaster to make people think about Flood Insurance. As insurance agents, we are aware of this cycle and our phones have been busy with clients calling for quotes. Over 50% of those affected by Hurricane Katrina did not have Flood Insurance and now they are estimating that over 80% of those that have sustained damage from Hurricane Harvey does not have coverage either. Since your home is more than likely your largest investment and flood damage is one of the most common natural disasters in the United States, everyone needs to know these facts –
*Everyone is in a Flood Zone. When I say everyone, I mean EVERYONE. Low-risk zones, which many are in, are still Flood Zones. Remember, they are called LOW risk, not NO risk.
*Flood damage is not always from a hurricane.,/b> Rising water from a river/lake, heavy rains which the ground cannot hold any longer (it HAS to go somewhere), mudslides caused by rain, or even levees breaking.
*Damage from one inch of flood water can cause more than $20,000 worth of damage. Think about everything on the floor – couch, kitchen table, carpet, entertainment center, piano, bedroom furniture, pool table, kitchen appliances… You get the idea.
*Flood insurance is continuous – you will not be canceled or non-renewed for repeated losses.
*Proper coverage can be the difference between rebuilding and financial devastation.
*Federal Assistance ONLY pays IF the President issues a Disaster Declaration, which is issued less than 50% of the time.
*Federal Disaster Assistance is a loan that MUST be repaid WITH INTEREST and could last up to 20-30 years.
*A $250,000 Federal Disaster Assistance loan with a 5% interest rate will cost $1,649.89 a month for 20 years. The total payback will be $395,973.44 with more going towards the interest than the principal for 6 years and 3 months.
*Compare the loan to a Preferred Flood Policy – $250,000 building coverage / $100,000 contents coverage, $450 a year for a primary home.
A final example story (I always learn better with examples that have a personal touch) – a very good friend of mine inherited his dad’s house. Since he had his own home, he did some major renovations to his dad’s house that he rented out to a very nice military couple. A few short weeks later, the morning of April 29th, 2015 before 5am, he received a phone call from his tenant; he was standing in 6 – 7 inches of water! He called me a bit later and my first question was, “Did you transfer your dad’s flood policy to you or did you let it cancel?” Thankfully, I heard the words, “I kept it.” Even three years later (I called him to make sure I had my facts right), he speaks in such a thankful way about how they paid to replace the new tile he had just put in, along with drywall, cabinets, carpet, and kitchen cabinets. There was one thing that he wanted me to stress to clients – since his tenants did not have their own policy, they had to pay to replace all of their belongings that were damaged. Just think, $170 would have given them $20,000 worth of new furniture.
So, what are you waiting for? Call and get a Flood quote right now. I promise that this will be the best quote you will get within 15 minutes or less.