Monday, August 30, 2010

Flood Damage Insurance Claims

By Shane Hobbs and Alexandra Smilansky

When you have true flood damage versus water damage in Dallas Fort Worth, Texas, it is important to know what your insurance policy covers in terms of various water flooding scenarios. Your water damage claim may be denied due to incorrect terminology or coding. Be an informed consumer and read your policy carefully.

Insurance companies usually do not cover natural geological events, such as landslides, hurricanes, earthquakes and floods. Insurance companies are very specific in their definition of what constituted flooding. That narrow definition specifies that flooding is an overflow of a natural body of water, such as a lake or an ocean.

Water damages occur when water gets into your Dallas Fort Worth home other than through the overflowing of a body of water. Depending on your particular insurance policy, many water emergencies are covered, but there are multiple scenarios of what is covered and under what conditions. When you know what your water damage policy covers, you know what language to use to describe the situation for your claim to be approved. That means that if your water heater bursts and "floods" your Dallas Fort Worth home or your washing machine overflows and your basement has 3" of standing water, it does not qualify under the definition of a true flood, which is good because chances are your insurance would cover these water damage scenarios - just don't use the word "flood" when filing your claim.

Here are some examples of water emergency situations and their outcome, depending on your insurance company's interpretation of events that led to the damages.

Water Damage from burst frozen pipes
Most insurance policies cover you for burst frozen pipes; however, if you went on vacation and failed to turn on the heat in your Dallas, Texas home during subzero weather, your claim would most likely be denied due to your failure to anticipate the events, thus causing the damage.

Water Damage from Overflowing Appliances
Most insurance policies would cover an overflow of your washing machine that floods your basement. However, the insurance company may make a case for the improper maintenance and upkeep of the washing machine in which case, the washer's replacements parts would not be covered by your insurance.

Water Damage from Leaky Roof
Your insurance would likely cover your water damaged Dallas home and furnishings, but would not cover the cost of repairing your roof because that is considered a regular homeowners' maintenance responsibility.

Water Damage from Leaky Pool
Your insurance would cover leaks from your pool that end up damaging and flooding your basement; however, if your lawn got damaged in this particular scenario, the lawn would not be covered.

Water Damages Not Covered by Insurance
What water flooding emergency situations would not be covered by your insurance?
Water trickling from the ground and damaging your basement and foundation are regarded as a maintenance rather than an accidental issue. Sewage back up issues are not covered by standard policies, although additional coverage through endorsements could be available to purchase. Although floods are America's primary cause of natural disasters, the standard Homeowners' Insurance Policy does not cover floods; however, if you live in a flood risk area, you can buy such a policy from the government if your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program. There is more information about specific flood hazards on

The above examples show that when you call your insurance company to file a water damage claim, you should be honest, but be aware that you should be factual in your description of the water damage. Know what your policy covers and what it does not cover and present your situation accurately, without using words or terms that raise a red flag to the person on the other end. For example, if your water heater burst and when making a claim you say that your house just flooded, that is not within the narrow interpretation of the insurance company's definition of flood. So, although to you, your home is flooded because you are standing in 3" of water, when you report the incident to your insurance company, just state the facts: your home is full of water due to your water heater bursting.

Shane Hobbs is a water restoration expert in the Dallas Fort Worth area. Learn more about water damage restoration in Dallas.

Read more about fire and water damage restoration.

Article Source:

What Homes Are Eligible For Grandfathering?

By Paul R Woodward

A home can qualify for grandfathering two ways. If the homeowner has carried continuous flood insurance on their home while the area that they live was rated as a low risk and the area is changed to a high risk flood zone, the policy will remain on what is called a preferred policy. They would be given a lower premium than others that purchase a policy after the area has been changed to high risk. The other form of grandfathering is to be grandfathered for built in compliance. If the date that the home had its last substantial improvement was while there was a flood map in place that rated the area that they live as low risk and the area rating was changed to high risk then you will eligible to be grandfathered into a regular policy. This would potentially save hundreds of dollars per year on your flood insurance.

It is important that consumers work with an experienced agent to ensure that their policy is properly rated and that they are receiving the premium that your home qualifies for. If a home is currently located in a high risk flood area then having an experienced agent could also simplify the process of a flood insurance purchase.

Although flood insurance if federally controlled and all NFIP flood insurance policies offer the same rates, consumers may want to call a few agents prior to purchasing a flood insurance policy. Not all agents are familiar with the process of qualifying a home for grandfathering for being built in compliance. If the home is located in a high risk flood zone consumers will see a significant difference in the quotes that they receive based upon the way that the policy is rated.

Article Source:

Flood Preparedness - Flood Safety Tips to Protect Your Home & Family

By Jessica Penick

No matter where you live, it is likely you will experience one of the most common forms of natural disasters: flooding. From mild spring melting that shows up in puddles on your basement floor as winter snow melts to monsoon-like rain storms throughout the summer months, flooding happens. Although you can't avoid flood conditions, you can properly prepare for floods.

Flood safety tips you should know

A comprehensive flood preparedness strategy includes many necessary steps. It's important to prepare ahead of time to help you protect your home and your family in case flooding becomes severe. Flood preparation includes more than just waterproofing your basement and knowing what not to store in areas of your property that are prone to water damage. Whether you're a homeowner or apartment dweller, the following flood safety tips can be to help you prepare for whatever flooding you may encounter down the road.

  • Be aware of the emergency flood plan in your area. While preparing for a flood, it is important to learn about your community's emergency plans, warning signals, evacuation routes, and locations of emergency shelters. This information may come in handy if you are ever caught in dangerous flooding conditions.
  • Stay tuned. During inclement weather, keep informed by listening to your local radio or television stations. This way, you'll stay up-to-date on possible flood warnings and reports of flooding in progress. You will also be properly advised as to what to do and when.
  • Be prepared to quickly evacuate. Flooding can happen fast, so it is important to have all the necessary items gathered in advance. Create an emergency supply kit that includes:

o Three-day water supply

o Three-day supply of non-perishable food (don't forget your manual can-opener)

o Disposable plates, cups and utensils

o First aid kit including prescription medications

o Battery-powered radio

o Flashlight and extra batteries

o Personal hygiene items

o Any essential items for individual family members, pets, etc.

  • Head for higher ground. Whether you are outside or within your home, if a flood occurs, you should always look for higher ground. According to the Red Cross, if you come to ankle-deep water, you should stop and go another way: Even as little as six inches of swiftly moving water can sweep you off your feet.
  • Avoid flood waters. If you are driving and come upon a flooded road, turn around and drive the other way. However, if you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground on foot. The Red Cross explains that most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water. Flood waters should also be avoided due to contamination or the possibility of being electrically charged due to fallen power lines.
  • Be careful in the dark. When evacuating in the evening, there is additional danger because flood hazards may be hard to see. If possible, travel during the day to avoid hard-to-see standing water and flood currents.
  • Use caution when cleaning up after a flood. While flood safety is paramount during a flood, you should also be cautious while in recovery mode. Avoid downed power lines, and make sure to report them to the power company. Beware of animals like snakes that could have made their homes in standing water. Also, clean and disinfect all inside surfaces that got wet. This should help prevent mold and mildew from forming.
  • Invest in flood insurance coverage. Many homeowners are unaware that their home insurance policies don't cover flood damage. Flood insurance coverage is exclusively offered through the federally-backed and government-operated National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

Flood insurance is the single best way you can help protect yourself from flood losses. Whether you're a condo owner, a renter or a homeowner, you should invest in flood insurance coverage. Rather than paying for repairs with a loan, a flood insurance policy will ensure that you get the coverage and response that you need. This way, you can make the repairs you need to recover quickly. Flood insurance may also cover cleanup expenses. And, flood insurance isn't just for homeowners.

Flood preparedness can help keep you and your family safe in case of flooding. So, in all of your flooding preparation, don't forget to protect yourself and your home and get a flood insurance quote from Nationwide Insurance today.

Jessica Penick is a senior content specialist at Rosetta, one of the top 10 interactive agencies in the country. Penick has a degree in English/Creative Writing from Cleveland State University. In addition to her traditional copywriting background, she also has valuable experience in the search engine optimization field. Originally from Cleveland, OH, she has also lived in London, England, as well as Tanzania and Uganda in East Africa.

Article Source:

Discover the Importance of National Flood Insurance

By Joe Sloan

Considering the fact that one-third of floods cause damage to homes that are far from any body of water, you may not need to be near a river or other body of water to need flood coverage. Your homeowner policy does not cover ground or below ground damage to your home.

The federal government, with the help of FEMA (also known as the Federal Emergency Management Program) created a program to provide insurance coverage in case of flooding called the national flood insurance program. Listed below are some of the benefits of purchasing flood coverage and also some information you need to know.

When you choose to participate in the insurance company, it covers damage from powerful rainstorms. The insurance provided by the government also protects your home in the event that your home is damaged from a flooded river or lake. Flood insurance, however, does not cover any personal property that is at or below ground level. So, this type of coverage will not replace your carpeting or finished walls in your basement unless it is a walkout basement (above ground).

If your house is located in a low-risk flood area, you can pay as little as $100 a year for flood protection. You can purchase a policy that covers flooding from an agent, typically, from the agent that handles your homeowners insurance. However, you must wait 30 days after purchasing a policy for your flood insurance coverage to kick in. Flood insurance is inexpensive and covers a wide variety of flood damage. Purchase some coverage today and protect your home from flood damage.

Joe Sloan has been writing articles online for nearly 4 years now. Not only does this author specialize in diet, fitness, and weight loss, you can also check out his latest website on Proform Crosswalk Treadmill which reviews the Proform Crosswalk treadmill.

Article Source:

What You Need to Know About Roof Water Damage

By Francis Followsby

The importance of keeping the roof maintained and in good condition is basically common sense. After all, this is the part of the house that protects the residents and family members from the environment. Damage to the roof via water is a very worrying scenario, for numerous reasons.

Leaks in the roof will enable water to find it's way inside during rains and storms. The moisture will then accumulate in the roof space. This is a perfect breeding ground for molds and mildews. Unpleasant odors can also result from the moisture.

In addition to that, the water will eventually come through the ceiling below and pool on everything directly below it. There is no way to avoid getting the furniture, carpets and floor wet,badly stained or worse still, totally ruined.

Furthermore, as mentioned previously, the presence of unnecessary moisture can lead to mold and mildew if left untreated. In turn this could lead to health issues, Because mold and mildew are natural allergens illnesses such as breathing and chest problems, asthma and rashes could start to occur among family members. These can affect both adults and children, but the latter are much more vulnerable to their ill effects because their immune systems are more sensitive.

The roof water damage can come in the form of rotting roof. With this condition, the roof has a tendency to weaken and be a breeding place for harmful substances. Eventually, the entire roof may collapse as its inability to support the leak lessens.

In terms of the home's overall value, the damage to the roof will have a negative impact on the market price and even the saleability of the home. More so, it can be highly expensive to repair a damage roof. The costs are even higher if one has to replace the roof.

When applying for home insurance, it is definitely a recommendation to obtain ample coverage that will include any problem resulting from water damage. Since the damage caused by water can be of varying causes, insurance providers have specific policies that cover one, all or a combination of the different possible causes of water damage to a roof and other areas of the house.

Do not forget to clean out the gutters regularly. If there are objects blocking the gutters, overflow of rainwater will occur. This will not only damage and leaks, it may enable the water to find it's way into the roof.

The impact of roof water damage will become ever more extensive with time. It will result to higher bills and more expense in the long run. Apart from all that, it can make one's home an unsafe place to be for everyone in the family.

Francis Followsby writes about Water Damage at

Article Source:

Restore the Natural Conditions of a Flood Water Damage Basement

By Francis Followsby

Natural occurrences are something we cannot take full control of. There are conditions in our environment that we can work on to help lessen the possibilities of situations such as a flood. But, once the flood occurs, it will be really hard to deal with. A more difficult situation to deal with is a water damage basement due to the flood.

Aside from having the basement flooded because of persistent rain and similar weather conditions, there is also the possibility of standing flood water in the basement caused by previous heavy rains. Both situations can bring serious health and safety hazards for everyone in the family.

To help bring back the water damaged basement to its safe and normal state, here are some helpful considerations to bear in mind.

1. Safety is the largest concern in this situation. To avoid further complications with regards to electrical connections, it is highly recommended to turn of the house's main source of electrical power.

2. The next stop is with the source of the water getting into the basement. If there is a leak in any parts of the roof, it should be covered immediately to avoid further inflow of water into the basement.

3. After careful assessment of the flooded basement, it is time to move on with the actually removal of the water within the room. This can be done with the help of a drainage system set up for the location. If there is none, one can make use of a submersible water pump to get rid of the water in the basement.

4. When the water has been extracted, it is time to get the whole place dry. Moist places give off an unpleasant smell in the long run. Having a number of box fans continuously drying the entire room plus a working dehumidifier to help stabilize the amount of moisture and the level of humidity in the room is really important.

5. In terms of the insurance policy, it is possible for one's coverage to involve the damage caused by a flood. It basically depends on one's type of coverage and what it involves.

Aside from the immediate effects of the water damaged basement, it is the serious health conditions that leaking water can pose. This is probably the single biggest reason why the situation needs to be dealt with right then and there.

Francis Followsby writes about Water Damage at

Article Source:

The Benefits of Flood Insurance and Who Needs to Have It

By Aaliyah Arthur

Flood insurance is a separate type of policy that should be purchased by anyone who lives in an area that is at high risk for flooding because most if not all standard home insurance policies don't cover two things - Earthquakes and floods. And for people who live in high to moderate risk areas for floods, there is a 26% chance that your home will experience some flood damage in the thirty year period that you hold your mortgage. Even just a few inches of water going through your home can create massive damage.

Even just a few inches of water going through your home can create massive damage. Think about it. Flood water is going to contain sewage, pollution, and chemical waste such as oil and gas and now it is in your living room, kitchen, bathroom and bedroom seeping into your carpets and walls leaving a lasting imprint. Even in a best case scenario - your carpets and floors will have to be ripped out and replaced and if your walls were damaged you will likely have to rip out the drywall, insulation and baseboards and replace them as well to guard against mold and rot.

Can you afford to replace the contents of your home and do the massive repairs that will be required to make your home livable and marketable again without the help of insurance? If we learned anything from Hurricane Katrina it is that home repairs are extensive and expensive and most homes that were hit by Hurricane Katrina are still damaged and abandoned all these years later as former homeowners were unable to do the costly repairs to make the homes safe again.

Even if you feel safe from flooding because you live in an area that is not considered in a flood zone, you should keep in mind that floods can happen anywhere at any time. Every state has the risk of flooding. Floods can start from more than just Hurricanes or rivers that crest over banks. Winter storms, snow melt off, and even new construction altering the water run off patterns for an area and lead to flooding where it is least expected to occur.

Flood insurance cost varies depending on a variety of variables including the age of the building to be insured, the number of floors, the building occupancy, the location of the buildings contents and where it is located in a flood zone. Other factors that affect premiums include how much coverage you want and do you want to cover the building or the contents of the building or both?

Talk to your agent about flood insurance before you need it because when you actually do need it and don't have it in place, it will be too late.

If you are in need of insurance, Baton Rouge businesses have the knowledge and experience to fulfill your needs. There's no need to risk your home by not having flood protection.

Article Source: