Tips for Protecting Your Home and Property From Flood Damage

The best time to prepare for flooding is before the risk is imminent. By taking a few measures now, you can maximize protection and minimize loss during an unexpected flood event. 

Have the right protection in place  

You might be surprised that you often need flood insurance in addition to home insurance for damage caused by flooding. 

Flood insurance typically covers damage to your home and its contents, as well as other buildings on your property. This may apply to a variety of situations, such as overflowing rivers, heavy rain, storm surges or excessive snowmelts.

Knowing what isn’t covered by flood insurance is also critical. For instance, property outside of your home isn’t covered. Vehicles aren’t typically covered under flood policies but may be covered under a comprehensive auto policy. Understanding coverage and limitations will ensure you’re adequately protected. Talk with your insurance agent for help with flood protection. 

Protect your property 

Protecting your home involves knowing the potential flood risk. If you’re unsure of your home’s flood risk level, find out. Review the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) flood maps or ask your insurance professional.

To safeguard your property against flooding, you can take the following steps:

  • Protect in-home electrical and climate systems. Homes have many electrical components, including switches, sockets and circuit breakers. This wiring should be at least a foot above the expected flood level in your area.
  • Elevate outdoor equipment. Take inventory of outdoor electrical equipment and create a plan to elevate it. This equipment may include fuel tanks, air conditioning units and generators.
  • Modify water valves. Consider installing an interior or exterior backflow valve to minimize the risk of sewage backing up into your home.

Once a plan is in place, don’t forget to account for the contents of your home during a flood event.  

Safeguard essential documents  

Most people think about property damage during a flood, but there are additional risks, such as damage to essential and hard-to-replace items. Make a list of essential items. FEMA recommends assembling these items so they are ready to grab and go if you need to leave in a hurry. Examples include:  

  • Prescriptions — Gather essential prescriptions, medical equipment, batteries, eyeglasses, hearing aids and other important medical items.
  • Critical documents — Assemble hard and electronic copies of birth certificates, Social Security cards, passports and other critical documents.
  • Personal needs — Gather food, water, first-aid kits, cash and phone chargers.
  • Priceless items — Place irreplaceable mementos and other valuables like photo albums and keepsakes out of reach of floodwaters.

The Department of Homeland Security has useful tips on how to build your emergency kit so you’re ready before a flood occurs.

Move forward with greater security

There are many things to consider when planning for a flood, but among the most important is insurance. Are you adequately covered in the event of a flood? You may assume this coverage is provided under your standard policy, but special flood insurance is often required.

You should also be aware that a 30-day waiting period is typical with the purchase of a new policy, so the best time to consider flood insurance is now. Call us today at 813-645-4404 to talk about existing coverage, policy limits and additional options to protect your property. 

This content is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing professional, financial, medical or legal advice. You should contact your licensed professional to obtain advice with respect to any particular issue or problem.

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