Here in Ocala — and in Florida in general — we see our fair share of precipitation. Our area averages around 50 inches of rain each year, and when heavy rain threatens, there's a heightened risk of floods developing. Though we have both high and low locations throughout town, a flood might happen anywhere. If one were to strike your home, what would you do?
Here are some ways to avoid the sting of flooding long before the storm clouds roll in.
Step One: Get Flood Insurance
Homeowners will invest a lot of money in their home. Most of these investments will go into fortifying the home and beautifying it. But some will go into protecting its value, should calamity strike. Most homeowners will get home insurance that reflects the value of your property and possessions.
However, home insurance likely won't come with flood coverage. While your policy might cover certain losses like a burst pipe, it won't cover water damage from rain, river floods and other natural hazards. To get this protection, you need to obtain a qualifying flood insurance policy.
Flood insurance occupies a unique niche in the insurance market. Federal law and the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) govern how these policies provide coverage. If you are in a designated flood zone, your Lender will require that you purchase flood insurance. If you are not in a designated flood zone, flood insurance is not mandatory, but it is also priced at a lower premium and it's something to consider purchasing. During severe weather many floods occur in both designated and non-designated flood zones. At Ahrens Insurance, we recommend flood insurance and we can determine your home's flood zone and offer you coverage options tailored for your home.
Step Two: Make Home Improvements to Reduce Home Threats
Sometimes, you cannot avoid flood damage. However, in other cases, you can reduce the chances of damage impacting the home. To help keep your home in pristine shape, consider these water-proofing safety steps:
- Make repairs to the home's roof and foundations. These two areas have the highest chances of water damage in bad weather. Make sure the seals and structures of these areas remain tightly in place.
- Keep the home's gutters clean and functioning. They can direct water away from the home if they have no faults within them.
If you notice developing problems when you buy the home, you can make improvements as needed. Having this knowledge ahead of time might even help you better allocate the funds you plan to use for renovations.
Of course, ask your Ahrens Insurance agent to determine your home's flood zone and provide you with a flood insurance quote. You will likely find it to be a wise decision, if you do.