Household & Real Estate

Tips for Homeowners With Flood Insurance

If you live in a flood zone, knowing how to prepare for a flood is essential. These tips can help you protect your family and your home. A minor flood can cause massive damage to your property, sweep a vehicle away or even take a life. Don’t wait to get prepared.

Evacuate Immediately

The number one death cause during a flash flood is drowning. This occurs when people need a safety plan to evacuate immediately from a flooded area or enter flooding waters. You can purchase flood insurance in Tennessee if you live in a high-risk flood zone. You will be covered for losses due to external events such as rain, snow, storms, and collapsed infrastructure.

Failing to evacuate is more common than most people realize and can happen quickly with little warning. It’s essential to know the dangers and follow local evacuation orders. Water may rise in generally dry areas, such as low spots, canyons, and washes during a flood. These areas are fragile and can collapse under the weight of vehicles. A vehicle can be swept away in only two feet of flood water. It can also be stranded in fast-moving water, so stay off bridges over fast-flowing water. If you must drive, stay in your vehicle and turn around if the water rises. If the water is too deep, move to higher ground or call 911 if you have to leave your car.

Store Your Possessions

Storing your possessions and belongings is vital if you live in a flood-prone home. Not only can this help you recover from flooding, but it will also protect your valuables from further damage.

Relate your belongings to a dry location, such as a second story, garage, or outside. This will give you more time to decide which items are salvageable and which must be thrown out.

Storage can also save you money in the long run. You can then use the extra cash to repurchase whatever you lose when the insurance company determines the value of your damaged items.

During this process, keeping an inventory of your possessions is essential. This will ensure that your insurance adjuster has a better idea of what you have lost and how much you should get reimbursed.

It is also good to save copies of your essential documents in waterproof containers, such as the deed to your home and driver’s license. Having these documents handy when flooding strikes can make the recovery process faster and easier.

The key to protecting your storage against flooding is to store all your items carefully in plastic instead of cardboard. The best way to do this is to purchase water-tight containers, pallet boards and shelving, and nylon coverings. These strategies are more than worth the potential loss of valuable or sentimental items and the peace of mind you’ll have to know that your home and belongings are safe from flood damage.

Get Your Sump Pump Working

Having a sump pump is one of the most important steps you can take to protect your home from flooding. This is especially true if you have a basement built below the water table or are susceptible to high amounts of rain in your area. A sump pump is an automatic system that moves accumulated water out of your basement. The device is usually located in a pit at the lowest level of your basement. It has valves that sense rising water levels and a pipe that pushes the water out to a drainage location outside your house, such as a dry well or a municipal sewer.

There are many different types of sump pumps available on the market today. The type you choose will affect your cost of installation.

Pedestal pumps are usually less expensive than submersible sump pumps. However, pedestal pumps can become clogged easier and are noisier than submersible pumps.

Some systems have a battery backup, which can power the pump during an electrical outage. A car battery or a deep-cycle boat battery commonly powers these batteries.

If you choose a battery-powered backup, use a trickle charger to fully charge the battery before using it. Draining the battery sparingly is also a good idea, which can lead to battery failure.

Call Your Insurance Company

Flooding is the number one natural disaster in the United States, and it can affect all areas. While standard homeowners’ insurance policies don’t cover flood damage, you can protect your home and belongings with a flood policy. It’s essential to call your insurance company as soon as you know about a possible flood. Your insurer can help you determine whether you have flood insurance and, if so, how much it covers.

Before calling your insurer, take a detailed inventory of the damage to your property. It can help them understand the scope of the loss and arrange for a more accurate assessment of your claim.

Once you’ve called, keep a written record of all conversations with your insurance agent or adjuster, including the time and date of each contact. It can help you follow up in writing if there are disagreements about the claim.