A flood can wreak havoc on your home and possessions. Even if you don’t think your home is vulnerable to flooding, you never know when disaster will strike. Without flood insurance, you could suffer thousands of dollars of damage to your home and have to pay it all out of pocket.
Whether you worry about storms or live on the coast, a public adjuster from Insurance Public Adjusters of Georgia can help you understand your insurance before you buy it and walk you through claims.
How Can an Insurance Adjuster Help Me?
Insurance claims adjusters decide when and how much your insurance company should pay you for a claim. While you can work with in-house insurance adjusters who represent your provider, you may have better luck with a public adjuster.
In-house and independent adjusters work for the benefit of the insurance company. When you work with a public adjuster, they work to help you understand your claim. That includes determining whether you receive appropriate payment from your insurance company.
When you experience a disaster like a flood, Insurance Public Adjusters of Georgia will stand up for you while you take care of your home and family. We advocate for a higher payout that covers your damages and helps you repair your home without debt concerns.
Your public adjuster will have the legal knowledge and experience to represent you in court when necessary. When the insurance company makes its low initial offer, we can usually raise it to align more closely with the damage caused to your home by a flood.
Will My Insurance Cover Flood Damage?
Typically, most standard homeowner’s insurance policies cover incidents like fire, theft, hail, wind, and lightning strikes. However, they usually do not cover floods.
You will find a few companies that include flood insurance in their standard policies, but it is uncommon. Most providers will offer flood insurance as a separate package that you can add to your standard policy.
Even if you live in a high-risk area for flooding, your insurance company will probably require you to pay for a separate add-on. When you purchase flood coverage for your home, you have the same protection as you would with a standard policy that covers your possessions inside and outside your home, including structural damage.
Some insurance companies offer different types of flood insurance or different rates based on your location. For example, when you live in a high-risk area, you may find more insurance companies that include flood insurance in your standard policy.
At the same time, if you live in an area with a low to moderate risk of flooding, you may qualify for lower flood insurance rates. When your insurance company views you as a lower risk, it is more willing to absorb that risk since you probably won’t need to make a claim.
Why Do I Need Flood Insurance?
While you should purchase flood insurance if you live in a high-risk area, it can also benefit you in a low-risk location. Floods don’t happen only due to overflowing rivers or disastrous storms. Your home can experience flooding for any of these reasons:
- Backed-up sewers
- Heavy rainfall
- Melting snow or ice
- Overflowing bodies of water
- Broken dams
You may have a higher flood risk if you live in a city lacking enough unpaved ground to absorb rainwater. Mountainous areas can also pose a flood risk, as thawing ground and melting snow can run down the slope and saturate the earth. At that point, the water may end up in your basement.
When you purchase flood insurance, you protect your home, no matter its calculated flood risk. Homeowners in high-risk areas benefit from knowing that no matter how likely their home is to flood, their insurance will cover their home against damage.
Flood insurance protects both your home’s structure and your possessions. For example, if you have a finished basement that floods after a severe storm, flood insurance means you don’t have to pay out of pocket to fix it.
Flood insurance offers you additional financial protection, so you don’t worry about going into debt. If you purchase flood insurance for your business, you won’t spend the money you have saved up for emergencies.
In Georgia, all homes and businesses are eligible for flood insurance. While your specific zone depends on your location, the entire state is at risk of flooding. Depending on where you live, you may also qualify for assistance from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
Can My Mortgage Lender Require Flood Insurance?
Based on your area and your mortgage circumstances, your lender may require flood insurance. If you take out a mortgage with a federally regulated bank, you need flood insurance if you live in an area with high flood risk.
While low- to moderate-risk areas do not have these same regulations, you may want to purchase flood insurance anyway. In Georgia, 20% of all flood claims still came from these areas, which means that even a slight possibility can lead to flooding disasters.
The agents at Insurance Public Adjusters of Georgia can help you decide which policy works best for your home. We can also compare rates to inform you which insurance company has the best coverage for your area.
If your lender requires flood insurance, it usually only applies to the structure of your home. In many cases, you can choose the extent of your coverage, whether you opt for the minimum necessary, or protect your personal belongings.
What Does Flood Insurance Cover?
When you get insurance through NFIP, your policy typically covers your home or business and its contents. In addition to the building’s structure, you can expect to have coverage for:
- Furnaces, air conditioners, and water heating units
- Plumbing and electrical systems
- Carpets and flooring
- Cabinets and shelving
- Fuel tanks and other energy systems
- Personal possessions
Flood insurance also has specific guidelines to determine whether you are eligible for payment after your home or business floods. For the insurance company to consider you covered after a flood, the water must have covered at least two acres of normally dry land or at least two properties where the water rises from the ground.
That means you do not have coverage if a pipe breaks in your basement due to a lack of maintenance. On the other hand, if your sewer floods after heavy rain, your insurance will most likely cover it if the rain, and not improper care, caused the flood.
The amount of coverage you receive depends on your insurance company. However, if you get flood insurance through NFIP, you have a limit of $250,000 for your home or business. Typically, you will pay less than $500 each year for your policy.
What Should I Do if My Home Floods?
If your home or business floods, call your insurance company to report the incident and file a claim right away. You should also call your adjuster at Insurance Public Adjusters of Georgia to assess the damage.
As soon as you discover that your home has flooded, start documenting everything. Keep records of how much water you found in the building and take photos and videos to show the insurance company as proof.
Make a note of any damaged items, and keep samples when possible. For example, if the flooding ruined your carpet, keep a piece of it to show the public adjuster. Ensure that your photos and videos demonstrate every detail of the damage. It may also help to have pictures of the area before flooding to compare the pre- and post-flood areas.
Along with photographic evidence, keep records of any paperwork that passes between you and the insurance company. Your insurance adjuster will also take photos of the area to collect evidence for your claim and determine your payout.
Submit your claim as soon as possible after the flood occurs. The earlier you file, the faster you get paid, and the less time you allow for other problems like mold growth and structural rot.
Until repairs are complete on your home or business, exercise caution with moving around the space since there could be hazards like mold, debris, and dangerous bacteria in the area. It is a good idea to look for more severe damage, like exposed wires, the smell of gas, or a sagging foundation.
At Insurance Public Adjusters of Georgia, we can help you get the settlement you deserve after a flood. As public adjusters, we work for you, not your insurance company. We have a reputation as the reliable and dedicated insurance adjusters in the Atlanta area and beyond.
Whether you face a denied claim or a low settlement offer, we’ll work with your insurance company to get you the money you need to repair your home or business. We can even represent you in court when necessary.
Contact our public adjusters today at 404-220-9366 to get a free, no-obligation consultation. Before you face disaster, we can give you the peace of mind that comes with knowing you have someone on your side after a flood.
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Insurance Public Adjusters of Georgia
1100 Peachtree St NE, Ste 200a
Atlanta, GA 30309