Typically, there are more than 70 water damage incidents monthly in a population of 100,000 people. That means that there are over 1,400 water damage incidents per month in a metro area the size of Houston. Even though there is a minimal chance that you may experience a water damage incidence in the next five years, there there is a very good chance that you won’t be ready for it. The water damage may be very devastating, especially if you do not know what to do in this situation.
First, remain calm. Be sure to turn off the breaker to the wet areas of the building before entering hose areas, or unplugging and moving anything electrical. Only then should you move any items on the floor to dry areas. If the source of the water is a broken or leaking pipe, turn off the water to building, or to that area.
Second, call a professional who has the experience to know how to handle these situations. Then the professional will know how to take care of your problem. They can immediately being the drying process, and most importantly, take control of the situation and put your mind at ease. They will monitor the drying process daily, and keep your insurance company informed.
Third, don’t wait. Most insurance policies require the insured to take actions to mitigate further damage. Experts agree that the first 48 hours are critical in preventing the growth of mold and other microbes that can lean to can unhealthy environment and the need for more extensive structural repairs. That’s why it is important to have professionals on site as soon as possible to remove all excess water and set up the property equipment to produce large amounts of dry air and begin the drying process immediately.
Water Damage, Best Dry Out Process
What do you mean I'm not covered for flood damage? Unfortunately that's what millions of homeowners are saying each year with shock and sometimes horror.
Of course they never thought it could happen to them, after all they don't live in a flood zone. But nevertheless they experienced a record rain storm, sewage backup or county flood control failure. The good news was know one was injured, the bad news is they didn't purchase the right flood insurance policy or worse - they had no policy at all.
To help you avoid this fate, here's the top 10 mistakes most people make when it comes to buying flood damage insurance.
1. Assuming you need to live near a large body of water, a flood zone or low lying areas to benefit from flood insurances.
Most floods are caused by several different causes aside from living near a large body of water. For example, rain, snow or ice storms, hurricanes, and water or sewage backup, in addition to dam or other flood control failure and more.
2. Assuming your standard home insurance policy covers flood damage.
This is one of the biggest reasons why it's so important to stay educated and up-to-date on insurance matters. Why? Because most people assume they're covered by flood or water damage in their standard insurance policy. Surprise! You're not.
The fact is most standard policies don't cover flood or most water damage. For this you'll need a separate policy or rider.
3. Assuming you can't buy flood insurance if you've been turned down by traditional insurance companies.
You can buy flood insurance as long as your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program.
4. Assuming all flood insurance is too expensive.
The average flood insurance policy costs as little as $353 a year for coverage.
5. Assuming Federal Disaster Assistance will pay for flood damages.
Federal disaster assistance doesn't pay for flood damages. At best it can help to provide low interest loans if you qualify - and only if the President declares the area you live in a disaster.
6. Assuming you don't need flood insurance if you live in a low to moderate risk area.
Almost 25 percent of all flood insurance claims come from areas with low-to-moderate flood risk.
7. Assuming you must purchase a full flood insurance policy.
You may qualify for the Preferred Risk Policy (a lower-cost flood insurance policy) that provides contents coverage beginning at $39 per year.
8. Not finding out what's covered by Replacement Cost and what's covered by Actual Cash Value?
It's important to find this out to make the best informed decision of what kind of policy to purchase and who to purchase it from.
9. Assuming you're covered from flood damage if you rent.
Your landlords policy only insures the building not your personal property. However, you can purchase an insurance policy for your personal possessions.
10. Taking The First Policy You Come Across.
The best method of buying the most coverage for the best price is to comparison shop at least three different companies. You may be surprised at the price and/or service difference. By taking the time to follow and remember these 10 guidelines you'll avoid the mistakes many people make when buying flood damage insurance.
Water-Flood Damage Information and Tips
One flood can wipe out tens of thousands of dollars of your personal property and damage your home beyond repair. When you look for a home to purchase, a major consideration of whether you buy it will be its location. A home situated in a flood zone can mean higher home insurance premiums and a greater risk of flood damage. Plan your home purchase carefully to ensure that you do not buy a home that can end up costing you almost as much in flood damage costs as it did to initially purchase.
Floods in Australia
Emergency Management Australia notes that flooding along rivers after a heavy rain is the most common form of flooding in the country in its "Floods: Warnings, Preparedness and Safety" brochure. Urban areas are also very prone to flooding from an overflow of drainage systems. This can be a particular problem in densely populated cities. Low areas near the coast are often flooded by storm surges from tropical cyclones. Inland rivers may have floods that last for weeks or even months at a time. This can lead to damage not only to homes and businesses, but also result in loss of drops, livestock, roads and rail lines.
Mountain head water areas of large rivers and rivers that drain to the coast often see quick onset flooding. This type of flooding does not allow much time to prepare for evacuation and preventive action to save property. Flash floods occur when short, heavy rain storms occur. These types of floods happen all over Australia, and they are the most dangerous. People lose their lives when they go into flood waters in vehicles or on foot. Flash floods are particularly upsetting in urban areas where drainage systems cannot keep up with the amount of water. Flash floods also happen in rural places with terrain prone to flash floods and steep streams.
Loss of Life
One of the most devastating risks of living in flood zones is loss of life. People can easily be swept away by strong flood currents as rivers overflow their banks. Entire communities can lose many people, which makes the physical damage from storms, breakage of dams and overflowing rivers appear as nothing.
Water levels rise quickly when floods occur. You may not have time to move furniture or even smaller personal belongings to higher ground when a flood occurs. Appliances, furniture, carpeting, walls, electrical and plumbing systems call all be wiped out in a few minutes of flooding. Pictures, important documents, electronics, computers, clothing and kitchen items are also often lost in floods. The items that recall memories and family are irreplaceable. Floods can destroy them all.
Homes with flood damage that are not properly rebuilt can cause health hazards for their occupants. Mould can grow in walls and cause severe respiratory illnesses. This is especially hard on children and older adults. Anyone who is prone to illness can get very sick from living in a house with water in the walls. Even healthy people become sick living in a house with flood damage. Without flood insurance to properly rebuild a home, homeowners may live in a house that is unsafe structurally and health-wise.
Home insurance costs are also typically higher for home owners living in flood zones. Higher monthly premiums are due to the added cost of insuring a home that is more likely to be destroyed or damaged by flooding than a home that is not located in a flood zone. However, without flood insurance built into your home insurance coverage, you can face rebuilding with no money with which to start over.
Major flooding happens about every ten years in the South-East Queensland area. About 35 per cent of buildings in Australia that are at risk of flooding are in Queensland, and 21 per cent of those are in the South-East Queensland area. Although the statistic is older, it is telling of the devastation flooding can cause when you read that a 1998 study found that the cost of urban flood damage in just Queensland was $100 million per year. With figures like this for an entire region, the costs per year in personal property damage can wipe a family's savings out and put them in debt for years.
How can you minimise the risk?
To avoid property damage and loss of life when flooding occurs, purchase flood insurance. Try to purchase a house that is not located in a flood zone in the first place. Stay tuned to radio, television and internet weather reports in the event of possible flooding. Also, evacuate as quickly as possible if you find yourself in a flood situation. Have an emergency kit and a packet of all your most important documents ready to go with you in case you must evacuate your home. With preparation and prevention, you can minimize and possibly avoid the high costs of flood damage to your home.
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