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July 1, 2011

Imagine having to evacuate your home following a hurricane or flood warning. With little time to pack, you grabs what is most precious to you, get the family into the car, and head for higher ground. Coming home afterward, you find your home and surrounding area has sustained damage - maybe some of it can be repaired, but there's a good chance you might lose some valuable possessions to storm damage. With flood insurance coverage, however, you may receive due compensation for your losses.

Homeowners who don't live along the shore or in beach areas susceptible to hurricanes may think of flood insurance as an unnecessary expense. What's the point of extra coverage if you live in a land-locked area, right. Well, when you consider that floods are apt to happen anywhere in the world - not just where it's sea level - you may think differently. Homeowners in Tennessee learned the hard way when flooding damaged homes and businesses. If it can happen there, it can happen where you live on a day of heavy rain that encourages water systems and rivers to overflow.

Still not convinced that you should strongly consider a flood insurance policy. Think about this:

1) Getting a policy now is more cost effective than paying to repair damage later. A flood insurance policy could cost you as little as a few hundred dollars a year. Stack this up against loans paid out to those rendered homeless by floods. Pennies a day versus years of paying back money is definitely a no-brainer.

2) Policy holders can experience a quicker relief turnaround. If you have a policy in hand, you might find it easier to get compensation than if you didn't have this kind of insurance. It's not uncommon for people to wait weeks or even months for their insurance companies to deliver checks. Flood insurance makes it easier on you.

3) Your traditional home policies may not cover all damage sustained from flooding. Check with the provider and consider a flood policy where necessary.

4) These policies will not take effect until thirty days after you get one. So if you are sitting at home watching the weather reports and worrying that flood waters are headed your way, getting a last-minute policy will not help you. You need to be prepared well in advance.

Flood insurance can provide peace of mind during a season of bad weather. You may not be able to replace everything lost in a bad storm, but a solid policy can at least help you rebuild in a timely manner.

Kathryn Lively is a freelance writer specializing in articles on Norfolk flood insurance and Virginia flood insurance.



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