Its important to understand the different stages of a disaster and how they each represent a different pillar of flood insurance. There is preparedness, response, recovery, and mitigation.. Today we are specifically going to discuss flood preparedness.

 

Preparedness

Being prepared for a disaster is crucial for survival. So let's talk about preparedness in regards to flood insurance. One of the first steps in preparing for a flood is making sure you have the right things in place. This should start with having a flood insurance policy in place through either the National Flood Insurance Program or private flood insurance.

         Understanding the policy

  Understanding the flood insurance policy is just as important as purchasing the policy. What could is a flood policy if it doesn't have the right coverages.  On protecting the building you want to make sure you can get as much coverage as possible. If going through NFP this maxes out at $250,000 on residential buildings but private flood can go higher. Its important to know just because your policy goes to this amount does not mean you will get this amount. You want to pay attention to what the policy states on loss settlement because this could determine what amount you get.

                       Contents Coverage

       Protecting your belongings with flood insurance can be the difference between            losing everything and losing nothing. This is going to cover things like clothing, furniture, and other household items. An NFIP policy will cover contents up to $100,000 and you can get more through the private market. Most policies will be written on an actual cash value basis which means you won't get the amount it would cost to replace these items today. There are a few private flood insurance companies that do offer this coverage but you want to pay attention to exclusions.

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Temporarily Living Expenses

If your property floods more than likely you are going to need a place to stay. Its important to understand that while a NFIP policy does not provide this coverage you can get it if a presidential disaster declaration has been filed. You can get this coverage on a private flood insurance policy. Its generally limited to $25,000 and on a reimbursement basis. 

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Picking the right deductible

Picking a deductible can be a dangerous decision you want to make sure to select a deductible that you can afford and have an emergency fund big enough to cover. So many people pick a $5000 or $10000 deductible but when a flood occurs they can't afford the deductible. As a result the claim can not be processed.

Disaster Emergency Fund

Flood insurance works a little bit differently than things like a house fire or roof leak. Floods take a long time to recover from and can break the bank no matter who you are, even if you have flood insurance. Many parts of a flood insurance policy are done on a reimbursement basis. It may take 3-6 months to get your money back in some situations so its important to prepare for this. Its normally recommended that you have a disaster emergency fund that can cover up to 6 months of living expenses.

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Flood insurance preparedness is a crucial part to making sure flood response, recovery, and mitigation are successful. Want to learn more about flood preparedness? Check out our YouTube channel or Facebook page The Flood Insurance Guru where do daily flood education videos and our weekly podcast The Flood Guru.

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Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com

4 Types of Basements and How They Can Impact Your Flood Insurance Rates 4 Types of Basements and How They Can Impact Your Flood Insurance Rates 4 Types of Basements and How They Can Impact Your Flood Insurance Rates 4 Types of Basements and How They Can Impact Your Flood Insurance Rates

Today we are discussing 4 types of basements and how they can impact your flood insurance rates. The 4 types of basements are walk out, full, finished, and unfinished. So lets discuss these types of basements.

Walk out Basements

Walk out basements are just like they sound they have an entry way from outside the home. Because of these not all asides of the basement are below grade and they can have a lower impact on flood insurance rates. It's also important to understand that many times walk out basements can be mistaken for split level slab homes. It all depends on how the grade runs along the outside of the home.

Full basements

Full basements are generally basements that are below grade on each side with no entry way from the outside. Full basements can cause flood insurance rates to be higher because they will generally be more negatively elevated than other basement types. While they don't have the risk of allowing water to come through a door way they do have the risk of allowing water in through other areas like windows or even through the ground. Its important to understand that flood insurance will not generally pay out for damages from water that comes from the ground.

Finished Basements
Finished basements can create a major financial risk for property owners because coverages for basements are generally limited. Things like drywall, carpet, window treatments are not covered by the National Flood Insurance Program policy. You can get additional coverages for basements with a private flood insurance policies that will provide additional content coverages.

Unfinished Basements
​Unfinished basements can also have a minimal impact on flood insurance rates. One reason is there is not much to cover and not much that can get destroyed. Things that are generally covered in these types of basements are freezers, washers, dryers, circuit breakers, and furnaces.

Its always important to review flood insurance policies before purchasing to see how your basement will impact your flood insurance rates and what coverages are available.
If you have questions about how your basement might be impacting your flood insurance rates please visit our website Flood Insurance Guru, our YouTube channel The Flood Insurance Guru, or our Facebook page The Flood Insurance Guru where we do daily flood education videos. You can also click the link below.

Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com

.Flood insurance maps are always changing as land development continues, erosion becomes more of an issue, and constant rising water sources. One area that is getting new flood insurance maps is Columbia County in Augusta Georgia.

Lets talk about a few things. Who is going to be impacted? What are the impacts going to be? Can you fight these changes.

Who is impacted

Residents in areas like Martinez, Grovetown, and Evans Georgia could see big flood insurance changes. Lets talk about exactly what these changes will be.


Flood insurance changes Columbia county Georgia

Columbia county Georgia had some big flood insurance changes in June of 2019. These changes were not all good and they were not all bad. The good changes were properties that were moved from a high risk zone to a low risk zone. FEMA feels these are properties that have had a decrease in annual exceedance probability. This means the chances of a flood event in a given year have decreased. If your property is on this list and you have a mortgage then you should be receiving a letter that your mortgage company is no longer going to require flood insurance. Before going and cancelling the flood insurance you want to be cautious. Your new flood zone which is probably a flood zone x poses some serious dangers.

While flood zone x does not require flood insurance 30% of flooding does occur in this zone many times as a result of flooding. This type of flood zone also offers some of the cheapest flood insurance rates in Augusta Georgia. 

Now lets talk about the bad news with the new flood insurance maps in Augusta Georgia. When these new maps were put into place it moved a lot of properties from a low risk flood zone to a high risk flood zone. There are two high risk flood zones that the property may have been moved to, either a flood zone A or a flood zone AE. Both of these flood zones will require flood insurance if you have a mortgage. Now if you have received a letter from your mortgage company stating you need flood insurance be cautious in who you work with on the flood insurance. These newly changed areas will qualify for the newly mapped areas which generally have rates around $530 a year. You want to work with someone like the Flood Insurance Guru who has an educational background in flood mitigation.

Fighting the change

So can you fight these flood map changes? Absolutely there are a few things you want to know first of all if you were moved to a flood zone A you want to make sure there is a base flood elevation because many times flood zone A does not have one. You will need this in order to see if you qualify for a flood zone removal. When it comes to flood zone AE this will always have a base flood elevation so many times it can be easier to get a flood zone changed. These changes are referred to as letter of map amendments and can have a big impact on property values.

So we have talked about who is impacted in Augusta Georgia, what these impacts will be, and how to fight these changes? Maybe you have further questions then please visit our website Flood Insurance Guru, check out our daily flood education videos on our YouTube channel or our Facebook page. You can also click the link below to learn what your options are in Augusta Georgia.

Chris Greene

Author

Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation
flood@communityfirstagency.com