When you live in Seattle – you’re used to rain, LOTS of rain. Learning to tolerate the down pours outside is one thing but dealing with the damage and destruction all that water can cause your home, your property, or your business is another.
Did you know floods are the number one natural disaster in the United States? You don't have to live in a high risk flood area to be affected by flooding. All it takes is one inch, just ONE inch, of water to cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage. While huge storms like hurricanes result in a number of major floods throughout the year, it’s the small, localized events such as an afternoon thunderstorm which emergency management experts warn can wreak havoc on homeowners, especially in our community. November through April is typically when the west coast experiences its flood season and during this time millions of dollars in damage are reported each year.
Heavy rainfall, cresting rivers, and saturated ground can cause considerable, widespread flooding and damage. So can a clogged storm drain in front of your home or business. If you think your homeowner policy will cover damage related to a flooding event - think again. Most homeowner policies DO NOT include coverage for flood damage. The good news? Flood insurance is an option and it doesn't have to cost a lot.
Flood insurance is available for homeowners, renters, condo owners, and business owners. Most policies include a combination of protection for the physical building and/or house and protection for contents – such as clothing, valuables, and portable appliances.
This season, experts predict heavy rainfall which could lead to devastating flooding, especially in areas affected by drought and recent wildfires. It's important to be prepared, understand the threats flooding pose, and the protections you can put in place. Purchasing flood insurance is a great first step.
To give you an idea of the cost associated with flood protection, below is a quote our agency put together for a homeowner in Lynnwood. The quote is based on address:
At the highest level this homeowner's total annual premium is $430, or $36 a month.
In addition to purchasing flood insurance, there are things you can do to help minimize the damage a flood can have on your home and your property. Below are some handy tips, from emergency management experts, to help you get started:
- Make sure your sump pump is working properly. In case of a power outage have a battery-operated backup installed. A water alarm also lets you know if water is collecting in your basement.
- Clear debris from gutters and downspouts.
- Anchor fuel tanks.
- Raise electrical components (switches, sockets, circuit breakers, and wiring) at least 12 inches above your home's projected flood elevation.
- Place the furnace, water heater, washer, and dryer on cement blocks at least 12 inches above the projected flood elevation.
- Move furniture, valuables, and important documents to a safe place.
- Develop a family emergency plan, include a flood evacuation route from your home, work, and school
Review Your Needs
As is the case with every insurance policy, flood insurance comes with a set of guidelines and requirements dependent upon where you live. Working with an independent agent who understands this and can educate you on the benefits of flood protection ensures you, your family, and your business are properly covered should something happen.
If you’re unsure what is and is not included in your homeowner policy it’s a good time for a comprehensive review of your coverages. Our agents are ready to help answer your questions and review your policies. Often times when you combine flood insurance with other insurance needs the result is better pricing, better service, and better protection overall.