Avoid home insurance issues with flood coverage

Posted at 6:08 AM, Jun 01, 2012
and last updated 2012-06-01 06:24:29-04

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) -Virginians know the power of a hurricane.  Last year Hurricane Irene wreaked havoc here in the Commonwealth.  And with hurricane season officially underway this is the time to check your insurance policy.

Insurance gaps could leave renters and homeowners shelling out thousands of dollars in damages, following a natural disaster.

AAA said most standard homeowners policies cover hurricane damage, but they typically do not cover flooding or wind damage.  For that homeowners need a separate flood insurance policy.

"I'm more concerned with people who don't have insurance like renters and people like that," said Stephen White with AAA Mid-Atlantic Insurance.  "They don't always think they need that kind of insurance until after the fact and it doesn't necessarily have to be wind storm that causes it.  It could be your neighbor with a fire that could put you out of your apartment.  It's just a word to the wise that if you don't have renters insurance, it's just another reason to get it."

It only takes a few inches of water and your home could require major repairs.  Two inches of water can create $21,000 in damages, according to AAA.

The correct insurance not only protects your personal items, but it will also help with temporary housing and liability protection should you need it.

"You want to have everything documented in your house as much as you can, so when there is a claim the first thing the adjuster is going to ask you is what do you have?" explained White.  "And if you don't have a record of what you have it's really hard when you are under duress at the time, to remember exactly what you had when your property is all gone."

It is also important to remember, there is usually a 30-day waiting period before your flood insurance goes into effect.

For more information on flood insurance, click here.