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How to Deal with Flood Damage if You Have no Flood Insurance

We all get angry when we hear stories about friends who get in car accidents and the other motorist has no car insurance. “How is this possible?!” We ask, outraged. Considering that Florida is has so many car crashes, it would make good sense for everyone to be insured, right? Plus, it’s the law.

Ok, how about this one: It’s the middle of hurricane season, and you have one of those beautiful lakes that often adorn the views of so many Florida residences. All of a sudden, you get several days of heavy rains in a row, and the lake overflows and inundates a portion of your home. Horrible, yes, but you think: “At least I have homeowner’s insurance.” Except that when you call to file a claim, you find out that floods aren’t covered.

You look at your partially submerged furniture, your stained walls, and you know that your beautiful hardwood floors and bedroom carpeting will have to be replaced. What can you do to take care of it?

For your home:

         Before you start chastising yourself, realize that you are not alone. About 80% of homeowners who were affected by Hurricane Harvey during the 2017 hurricane season did not have flood insurance. You might still be able to get some coverage through FEMA’s Disaster Assistance Program and obtain funding for some of your repairs and even reimbursement for temporary lodging. That said, don’t get too comfortable with this knowledge. If you don’t qualify for a grant, you’ll have to take out a loan.

For your business:

         If the location of your business is in a zone designated as a disaster area, you may apply for a loan from the Small Business Administration. If you’re not sure if your property address is located in one of those zones, you can verify by clicking here. If the answer is yes, then you can apply online. Once you create an account, you can log in periodically to get a status on your application.

You will need to get together a long list of documents, so make sure to start the process with plenty of time to spare. Interest rates are fixed, and will not exceed 8% of the loan amount.

If the SBA determines that you don’t qualify for a loan, they will refer you to FEMA for alternative assistance. So whether you think you qualify or not, it might still be productive to apply.

If you’re not sure whether you’re in a high-risk flood zone, contact us. National Flood Experts will conduct a free evaluation provide you with all the information you need to protect your home and save money.

 

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