Given the number and severity of natural disasters world-wide this year, it is no wonder that owners of Mobile Eastern Shore real estate are becoming increasingly concerned about their insurance coverage for damages caused by these disasters, especially floods. According to FEMA, flooding is the number one natural disaster across the United States, and this spring brings with it the probability of extremely high water and flooding.
Since your basic homeowner’s insurance policy will not cover damage due to rising water, (i.e. water that collects as a result of an overflow of a body of water or surface water runoff), you would be well advised to research flood insurance policies for your Mobile Eastern Shore real estate. Think you’re safe because you live in a moderate-to-low-risk flood area? Think again. About 25% of all flood insurance claims come from areas with just such a designation!
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is a federal program that offers flood insurance to homeowners who reside in an NFIP community. It is a good idea to determine your community’s flood risk. There are three types of policies available to owners of Mobile Eastern Shore real estate: the standard dwelling; general property (for businesses and apartments); and residential condominium building association, and each can be purchased through most leading insurance companies (you can call NFIP at 888-379-9531 for a referral) for a relatively low fee paid once a year. Average residential premiums cost about $570 a year, but a low-risk policy can be had for as little as $129 and covers the foundation of your home and the equipment needed for the home’s normal function (i.e. furnace, water heater, and electrical system). You can also purchase additional coverage for furniture, appliances, and personal possessions
As with other types of insurance, it’s important to know exactly what your policy covers, information about deductibles, rates, payment, and claim procedures. One area not covered is the basement, so finished walls, floors, and personal belongings found there are not claimable. For residential policies the maximum coverage is $250, 000 for the structure and $100, 000 for personal property. For businesses and commercial properties the limits are increased to $500, 000 for both. Rates are set, do not vary from agent to agent, and depend on factors such as your home’s age, type of construction, and location. Like other policies, having a higher deductible lowers the amount of the premium but will reduce your claim payment. Be advised that unless flood insurance is required by your lender, there will typically be a 30-day waiting period before your policy goes into effect.
Insurers urge homeowners to inventory all of their belongings, estimate their value, and keep a copy of the list in a waterproofed spot or even in a location away from the residence. Some property owners rely on videotapes to catalog their possessions. Websites such as KnowYourStuff.com make easy-to-use inventory checklists and planners available to you free of charge.
Lest you are thinking of foregoing flood insurance to save money, consider this: just a few inches of water from a flood can cause tens of thousands in damage. During the past decade the average flood claim has amounted to over $33, 000! Best not to be penny-wise but pound foolish.
The Judy Niemeyer Team knows that selling or buying a Mobile Eastern Shore home is a major event in your life. It represents one of the largest single investments you may make in your lifetime. It is, therefore, our Goal to make this experience a seamless one. Whether buying Mobile Eastern Shore real estate or marketing Mobile Eastern Shore homes for sale, we will provide unparalleled professional, quality service and the most productive approach to achieving your goals.
You can contact Judy by email or by calling 251-990-0569.