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What Does Your Flood Insurance Cover?

Whether it was Hurricane Andrew in South Florida, Katrina in Louisiana, or Irene in New York, the damage caused by floods can be devastating.

When you’ve lost it all, it’s overwhelming to try to figure out where to start in your efforts to rebuild your life. This is why it’s imperative to take care of as much as you can, now, when you don’t have the pressure to act fast. To shed some light on a few of the most common questions, we’ve created the following Things to Know list:

FEMA will not repair your home to its pre-flood condition.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency will only assist with essential expenses and with facilitating emergency loans. That’s it. Just a little drop in the bucket to help you out, if they help at all. So when you purchase your flood insurance, make sure to read that small print and see what it really covers. Do it now, while you’re comfortable in your own bed, instead of waiting until you’re in a cot provided to displaced flood victims after a hurricane.

Contents and personal items are usually not covered by flood insurance:

To protect your furniture, electronics, appliances, and pretty much anything else inside your home that has practical or sentimental value to you and your family, you have to purchase additional coverage. Otherwise, your kids will get bored without their iPads, you’ll have to do laundry at the river, and sleep on the floor until you receive that Christmas bonus.

If the damage exceeds $250,000, you’ll need to purchase additional insurance.

You read that right! In addition to having to purchase homeowners AND flood insurance, you might also need excess flood insurance.  Therefore, do an inventory of your property and estimate how much you would need to replace everything should the unthinkable happen.

Mold might not be covered either.

Do you see a pattern here? Clearly, this business wasn’t started by Jesus or the Dalai Lama. Ok. So take a deep breath and keep reading. Water damage can be a catalyst in exacerbating mold growth in your home. Therefore, it is imperative you address this issue within the first 48 hours after a flooding. This is because the burden is on you to verify whether the water damage caused mold in your home. If you fail to do this, you will get stuck with that bill.

So pick up your cell phone and schedule a time to review your insurance policy. Don’t wait until you’re drowning to call for help. Learn how to swim now.

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