Are You Ready for a Flood?

You may think you are ready for a flood but are you really? Knee deep water in the basement, drenched carpets, water stained ceilings and walls, ruined furniture and more is just the tip of the iceberg. In addition to having hurricane survival kits for yourself and your pets you want to make sure to cover other bases.

  1. If you are unsure about your flood insurance coverage call your agent and see what your policy(s) cover. Remember that flood insurance is separate from homewoners insurance and needs to be purchased in addition to your existing coverage.
  2. Have any leaks in your home repaired immediately. If your pipes are having problems have them replaced. A pipe can burst at anytime and will cause major flooding and damage to your home.
  3. Have a home inventory of all your valuables, furniture, electronics. The more details you can have the better. Photos are a plus.
  4. Have a family emergency plan and a hurricane survival kit ready to go in the event you get stuck in your home without power or water for an extended period of time you won’t go without.
  5. Keep your eye on the weather and know what could be coming your way. In the event of an evacuation leave immediately.
  6. Never walk or drive through high waters.
  7. Watch out for down power lines.
  8. If you have a multiple story home or attic move valuables and and anything sentimental family memories as high up as possible.
  9. If you know flooding is about to reach your home turn off all electricity and gas to prevent injury or worse. If you are already standing in water do not touch any electrical sources.
  10. After the flood act quickly and immediately report the loss to your insurance agent.
  11. Be careful to not turn back on any electrical or gas power yourself. Wait to have a professional look at it.
  12. Take as many photos as you can of damaged areas and belongings to document the damage for your insurance company.


Unusual Things Your Homeowners Insurance & Auto Insurance May Cover

There are a several things that we never think could happen to us, our home or car that our insurance policy will cover. All policies vary so you want to check with your insurance provider to get a list of what is covered and what is not. This is just a guide to give you ideas what may be covered and what to check into. It is always best to be completely aware of your coverage. Some homeowners insurance policies vary by the area you live in. If you are near a body of water, in the vicinity of an active volcano, on an elevation and so on, your coverage could be different than those in rural or city areas.

Dog Bites

Did you know that your homeowners insurance policy may cover dog bites? In the event your dog bites someone it could end up being very costly. Not only in medical bills but legal fees. In order for this to be covered it must take place on your property.  Certain breeds may be excluded and not all polices cover this so be sure to check if you have dogs.

According to Consumer Reports:

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Volcanic Eruptions

If you live in Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Oregon, South Dakota, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington or Wyoming you are in an area that could be affected by a volcanic eruption. With more than 160 active volcanoes in the United States there is a much greater risk for eruptions than most people realize.

What is covered in the event of a volcanic eruption?

  • Most homeowners insurance policies will include coverage for any property loss that is a direct result of a volcanic eruption if it is the result of lava flow, volcanic blast, ash, dust, fire, explosion or airborne shockwaves.
  • Any vehicle damage will depend on your policy. If you have comprehensive coverage on your auto insurance policy your car will be covered just like any other damage would be.

What will not be covered in the event of a volcanic eruption?

  • The cost to remove any ash that has collected on your property is generally not covered by your homeowners insurance policy. This includes the surrounding land and any landscaping.
  • Flood damage that is the result of a volcanic eruption is not covered under your homeowners insurance. Any flood damage would be covered under your flood insurance policy if you have elected to have one.
  • Landscaping, sheds, the contents in sheds and any property in the open is generally not covered.
  • Land tremors, landslides, earthquakes, mudflow or other earth movements are generally not covered even if they are a result of the volcanic eruption.

Meteor Strikes

The chances of this happening are very slim but in the event of a meteor strike most homeowners insurance polices will cover the damage caused.

Tully Lehman, the spokesman for the Insurance Information Network of California has some advice for those asking that question.

“That is one of the things that is definitely covered under your homeowners insurance policy. A lot of people may not realize it because it doesn’t happen that often. But if it does it is something that would be covered,” he said.

Rodent Damage To Automobile Electrical System

Quite often in cold or inclement weather squirrels and other small rodents will seek shelter under the hood of a car. Squirrels are known to constantly gnaw on things due to the fact their teeth are always growing. Because of that they tend to chew on the electrical wires when taking cover in your car. This can cause serious electrical issues with your car. If you see your “check engine” light on take your car to a mechanic who will be able to see if this was the cause of the damage.

If you have comprehensive coverage, an optional add-on to your car insurance policy that will help protect you from damage that is not the direct result of a collision, you most likely will be spared from the out of pocket costs after your deductible.

You can do a few things to make your car less appealing to rodents:

  1. To keep squirrels and other rodents from being attracted to your vehicle, the Canadian Wildlife Federation suggests using taste deterrents like bitter apple spray. You can find this at most pet stores or in the pet aisle of your local market.
  2. They also suggest leaving your hood open during the day if you are in a location where you can do so. This makes it a less attractive nesting space during the daylight hours. Squirrels are not active at night so you only need to do this during the day.
  3. If you think parking your car in the garage keeps you safe, think again! Squirrels are able to get into places in holes as small as 2 inches so your garage is not off limits. Check your garage for holes and seal them up to ensure you are keeping squirrels and other rodents out.