Flood insurance isn't always top of mind for homeowners, especially if you don't live near a large water source. In many areas, however, flooding is the most common and costly natural disaster—and it can easily happen in California. Just one inch of water in your home or office can cost thousands of dollars in cleanup and replacement costs, including drywall, baseboards, floor coverings and furniture. You may think you're covered, but it's important for you to know that many homeowners insurance policies do not include flood insurance.
Here are several reasons to talk to an insurance agent now about flood insurance:
• There is usually a 30-day waiting period before coverage begins.
• Coverage is relatively inexpensive.
• Renters can buy flood insurance for personal belongings or business inventory.
• Basement coverage includes cleanup expense and repair or replacement of items such as furnaces, water heaters, washers, dryers, air conditioners, freezers and pumps.
• You do not have to repay flood insurance benefits as you do with disaster-related assistance loans.
• You can receive payments for flood-related losses even if no disaster was declared.
You can learn more about flood insurance at http://www.floodsmart.gov/.
There are things you can do now to prepare your home and family for flooding:
•Make a family disaster recovery plan. Emergency preparedness is everyone's responsibility. Write down your disaster recovery plan. Decide ahead of time where you will go if you have to leave and where family members will meet up. Identify an out-of-town emergency contact.
•Get supplies for an emergency kit. Your disaster recovery plan kit should include three days worth of water and packaged and canned food. Add a battery-powered radio and extra batteries. Store in waterproof containers with wheels or that are easy enough for you to lift so you can take them with you.
•Stay informed about what could happen. During storm season, listen to local media for up-to-date reports on weather watches and warnings. Keep a battery-powered portable radio—with a NOAA weather band—handy in case the power goes out.
•Have a plumber inspect and drain your water heaters. The most common floods in associations are from faulty water hoses on washing machines and old hot water heaters. It is important to check and change your water heater hoses to commercial grade, or have a Chico plumber do this.
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Experts In Your Home has been serving the North State’s construction, remodeling and maintenance needs for over 30 years and provides home painting, heating & air conditioning, plumbing, electrical services & more for your home or business in the communities of Chico, Paradise, Magalia, Durham, Oroville, Red Bluff, Corning & Orland, California.