Flood 101: Action Steps During a Flood for Policy Holders

Flood 101: Action Steps During a Flood for Policy Holders

Flooding is one of the most difficult natural disasters to face and a significant trauma for property owners. “One of the biggest issues why people don’t carry flood insurance is apathy. I think many people think it won’t happen to them and are willing to take the risk,” says Loretta Worters, a spokeswoman for the Insurance Information Institute.

The average annual cost of flood insurance is minuscule compared to the average cost of a flooding claim when disaster strikes. Whether you own property near the coast and are exposed to the risk of coastal flooding, or your home is inland where severe rainstorms can cause damage, anyone can become a victim of flooding. 

If you’re dealing with this home disaster, discerning what to do so you can resume your “normal life” again can seem daunting. If stress is flooding your life and you’re overwhelmed, here are some easy steps to follow to help you gain clarity on what to do next.

1. Verify Your Policy

Firstly, call your insurance agency. Verify that you have flood insurance, as standard homeowner’s insurance policies don’t include flood insurance. At Penny Insurance Agency, we make it a daily priority to maintain open, honest communication with those we insure. For almost a century, our trusted agents have been assisting people with their insurance needs. Once you’ve gained a better understanding of next steps from your insurance agent and gotten the ball rolling on filing a claim, you can focus on more tangible steps to help the process.

2. Take Photos

If it is safe to do so, document everything you can that suffered damage on your property. This includes water levels (if the flooding is still there), any major or minor water damage, photos of any ruined valuable items, and key structures of the home. There may even be damage that is difficult to see and pinpoint, so the more photos, the better. This will help ease the process of filing a claim if you have proper and substantial documentation. 

3. Cleanup Safely 

After you’ve contacted your insurance agency and properly documented the damage, you can begin the cleanup process. If it is safe to do, while following the instructions of local authorities, scan the perimeter for any obvious threats to your safety and then begin opening doors and windows to allow airflow. It is better to be safe than sorry, so always assume that flood water is polluted and unsafe, unless told otherwise. Work with a trusted contractor and professionals when assessing what to do next in cleanup and beginning to rebuild. 

4. Prevent and Prepare

It may take some time to fully recover from a terrible flooding experience. Once you’re back on your feet, it’s important to consider what you can do to prevent the same damage and prepare for the future. Flood-proof your property as much as you can doing things like elevating the foundation of your home or vacation property, building in flood openings to the foundation, using water-resistant flooring in your home, and building with water-resistant insulation in the walls. In addition, verify that your homeowner’s insurance covers flooding, so that you’re protected in the future. Never just assume that your policy covers this– in fact, most homeowner’s insurance policies do not include flood insurance as part of the policy. 

We understand how to help those facing critical situations and have been aiding people in navigating the waters of insurance for almost 90 years. Penny Insurance Agency is licensed in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Texas to better serve your unique property needs. For honest and personal service from one of our agents, give us a call or stop by one of our two office locations in Hendersonville, NC or Tryon NC. We would be happy to speak with you about your insurance needs. 

https://www.lawnstarter.com/blog/water/south-carolina-flood-insurance-data/https://www.daveramsey.com/blog/recovering-from-floodhttps://www.iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-flood-insurance

Securing Your Vacation Home While You’re Away

Securing Your Vacation Home While You’re Away

Nothing can tarnish your peace of mind like wondering if your property is secure while you’re away. At Penny Insurance Agency, our goal is to protect the life you have built for yourself and your loved ones while giving you a peace of mind. If the life you’ve built allows you to travel frequently, or occupy multiple properties, be sure to implement these steps to optimally secure your home while you’re away. 

1. Check Your Insurance Policy

Talk with your insurance agency and verify that all of your specific needs for your property are taken care of. With a robust policy and an agency you can trust, your worries will fade and you’ll be able to truly enjoy your time away. Be specific when speaking with your insurance agents, and ask thorough questions. Penny Insurance is licensed in South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Texas to better serve our client’s unique vacation home needs. 

2. Install Security Systems

Do your research and select the best security system for your property. A large majority of modern security systems allow you to check-in on your home remotely and frequently from the convenience of your smartphone, and even detect activity around your place and give you notifications. Even the seemingly minute detail of having a security system sign in your yard or a visible camera can also deflect intruders. Investing in a solid security system is worth it, especially for vacation homes. 

3. Make Your Home Appear Occupied 

Whether it’s befriending nearby neighbors and asking them to check on your property, hiring a landscaper to trim the bushes, or installing light timers in your home, make it a conscious effort to make your property look occupied. Simple efforts like these can make a big difference and give the appearance that you’ve only left for a few hours and will be returning soon. Also, remember to transfer your mail to your main residence, as a pile of mail can indicate vacancy. 

4. Check Your Locks 

This may seem obvious, but simple efforts like double-checking that windows, doors, and other entry points are shut and properly locked is a common mistake when heading off on vacation. It’s tedious, but checking each and every entry point can save you a lot of headache later on down the road. If you haven’t already, add stronger locks where you can and more of them. Move any obviously expensive items that might intrigue intruders away from the windows and secure them in safes. Another rookie mistake is leaving a key to the house under the welcome mat, or under an item in the front yard. Intruders know to look in these common spots, so it’s best to just keep an extra key in your personal bag or give one to a trusted neighbor or friend. 

Implementing these simple steps for better home security will keep you at ease and allow you to enjoy the life you have built. If you would like to learn more about vacation home insurance, our agents at Penny Insurance would love to speak with you and customize a plan for your unique needs. Give us a call or fill out our online contact form. 

Sources:

https://www.iii.org/article/insuring-a-vacation-home

https://reolink.com/top-3-clever-tips-to-secure-vacation-second-home/