As flood waters rushed into homes and vehicles overnight, many began trying to figure out what to do about all the damage on Monday.
According to FEMA, floods, including inland flooding, flash floods and seasonal storms, occur in every region of the United States. FEMA says 90 percent of all natural disasters in the U.S. involve some type of flooding.
If you live in a flood plain, your mortgage company likely required that you purchase flood insurance. And even if you don't live in a high-risk flood area, flood insurance is worth considering.
Renee Carter with the Alabama Insurance Information Institute reports more than 20 percent of all flood insurance claims are filed in low-to-moderate flood-risk areas.
Flood insurance policies are issued by the federal government. Claims are not filed with your standard homeowner's policy but by NFIP- which is FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program.
If you bought optional comprehensive coverage for your vehicle or purchased an NFIP policy you can file a claim.
Carter suggests when filing a claim that you:
- Take plenty of pictures and videos (to document the water damage)
- Contact your insurance company
- Clean up (don't just leave water on your floor or carpet)
- Put up tarps (to prevent further damage)
- Begin repairs immediately (do not wait to get claim payment)
- Read over policy (this way you are familiar with your coverage in case you have damage in the future from another weather event)
Flood insurance is available for renters as well.
Flood damage to cars is covered under the optional comprehensive portion of a standard auto insurance policy.
If you have questions about your property, contact your local government. The office should be able to tell you whether your property is located in a flood plain.
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