Flood Insurance


These days you can buy nearly anything online, even your insurance.  Although it may seem like you are saving time and money by obtaining a policy online, it may not be so convenient later.

One of the biggest advantages of working with an agent is that they have time to sit down and talk with you, in turn allowing you to establish a one on one relationship.  Just one visit with an agent can prove to be beneficial in respect to knowing what your options are and choosing the best possible coverage that fits your needs.  In addition to this, based on your answers to a few simple questions, an agent is able to find possible discounts that you may be qualified to receive.  Purchasing insurance can sometimes be stressful and an agent can alleviate some of that stress, if not most of it just by understanding and being able to relate to you.  After all, we are human and it’s comforting to know that someone has your best interest at heart.

Ben Franklin said it best, “Time is money”. Although an online agency provides you with a phone number where they can be reached, you may not be able to speak with a live person. I’m sure that we have all experienced the downfalls of 800 numbers and the “customer service” they provide.  One could spend 30 minutes or more being looped from one automated message to the next only to reach a live person who ends up transferring you somewhere else. Being able to reach your agent by phone without having to guess which automated option to choose can save you both time and aggravation.

One final advantage to working with an agent who is local is that they can work with you in regards to your coverage.  They can adjust your limits and/or deductibles without sacrificing the important coverage that you need resulting in a policy that is tailored just for you and your pocketbook.   Online agencies give you the freedom to choose the coverage you want according to what you can afford, but an agent can recommend coverage that will protect you and your family all while keeping you within your budget.

For example, the required liability coverage amounts in the state of Arizona are 15/30/10.  Sure, you may get a huge savings up front, but will you pay for it in the end?  If you cause an accident which results in bodily injury more than $15,000 or property damage more than $10,000, you are financially responsible.  Just to give you an idea, according to the National Safety Council, the average cost of injury in a car accident is $61,600 and the average price of a new vehicle is a tad over $30,000 according to Forbes.  Saving a couple of dollars by reducing coverage could cost you thousands in the long run.

With all of the decisions that you make in life, don’t let choosing the right policy overwhelm you when you have an agent right who is right around the corner.  Make an appointment today by calling us @ 480-288-5900.  We can help you protect what matters most!

Are you adequately insured? (image via wikipedia)

Most of the time when people talk about specialty insurance, they are talking about insurance coverage that provides companies with specialized protection based on their industry or on specific risks they are face.  However, there is also a side of specialty insurance that is all about covering personal interests.  Many people believe that their auto, renter, or homeowner’s policy provides coverage for these specialty risks and depending on the policy, it might.  But in many cases these specialty items actually indicate a gap in coverage that leaves them open to liability claims and property loss.  To help you understand if you have any of these specialty risks, here is information on some of the most common types of specialty personal coverage.

Boat/Watercraft Insurance

If you own a boat, you may have some coverage under your existing homeowner’s or renter’s policy.  Many companies will provide limited coverage for small boats like canoes as part of their base homeowner’s protection but it would be a mistake to assume any and all watercraft related risks are covered this way.  Even if minimal property coverage is included in your homeowner’s policy, it is unlikely that liability protection will be included.  Additionally, if you have a boat with an engine that can go more than 25 mile per hour, you may need to obtain additional coverage.

Flood Insurance

While most homeowner’s know that damage caused by floods is not covered by their homeowner’s insurance policy, there are still many homes that remain unprotected against this specialized risk.  Additionally, flood damage is also excluded from most renters insurance policies which means that even renters need to secure this specialty protection, especially if they are in a flood zone.

Earthquake Insurance

Damage from earthquakes and other natural disasters is generally excluded from personal insurance coverage which means it must be purchased separately in order for you to be protected.  Most earthquake policies or riders carry a much larger deductible than other personal policies.  If you live in an area where earthquakes happen often, having this insurance is critical to protecting your financial future.  But remember, earthquakes can happen almost everywhere and in areas with low risk, the cost of adding this coverage is often minimal.

Motorcycle Insurance

Riding a motorcycle, just like driving a car, carries certain risks and responsibilities and most states require drivers to carry a certain amount of insurance.  However, your motorcycle is not always automatically covered under your existing auto policy.   A motorcycle insurance policy protects you from property loss or damage if something happens to your bike and with liability coverage in the event you are responsible for causing damage to something or someone else.   In addition to this base coverage, you may also need to add coverage for accessories or specialized equipment.

Recreational Vehicle Insurance

Like other types of specialty coverage, recreational vehicle insurance provides additional protection from risks specific to your RV.   This type of insurance goes beyond what is covered by auto policies, property damage and liability coverage, and often offers additional protection from breakdowns and travel related risks.

If you are concerned that you have a specialty risk that may not be covered by your existing policies, talk to your insurance agent.  They can walk through the details of your policies and help you determine if you need additional coverage and which type you need.

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Is your property in danger of flooding? If so, would it be insured? Photo Credit: deborah.soltesz on Flickr

If you are like many homeowners who believe that water damage caused by flooding is covered under their homeowners policy, you probably think the answer to that question is no.  However, if you own a home and it ever rains where you live, the answer to this question is probably yes.  If it rains, it can flood, and if it floods, any damage caused to your home and property will not be covered unless you have a flood insurance policy.

Flood insurance in the U.S. is not included in homeowner’s policies or business property insurance policies; it is provided by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to homeowners and businesses in participating NFIP communities.  In order to become a participating community, a town or city must agree to adopt, uphold, and enforce ordinances that help reduce the risk of flooding as mandated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  If your town or city is not an NFIP participating community, flood insurance is not available to you.  To find out if your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, visit the National Flood Insurance Program Community Status Book on FEMA’s website and click on your state.

What Causes Flooding?

A flood is defined as “the temporary inundation of two or more normally dry acres of land or two or more adjoining properties by water or mudflow.”  There are a number of circumstances that can cause flooding and the danger exists is areas prone to rain and areas that are generally very dry.  Common causes of flooding are hurricanes, tropical storms, excessive or heavy rainfall, and snowmelt.  While we often think of weather conditions as the main threat for flooding, there are also circumstances that can result in flooding where it is not usually expected and without any forewarning.  Things like a dam break, ice jam, or a clogged drainage system can also result in flooding that would not be covered by a homeowner’s policy.

Flooding in Arizona

Here in Arizona, floods are a common hazard that results from heavy rains, monsoons, or other storms that result in excessive rainfall.  According to FEMA’s Arizona FloodSmart Fact Sheet, the state is particularly prone to flash floods which come out of nowhere and can happen after only a few minutes of heavy rainfall.   Arizona residents are also at a higher risk for flooding after seasons with a significant number of wildfires, like last year.  Wildfires change the landscape and alter the ground conditions making it possible for flooding to occur in different areas than prior years.    According to FEMA, there were five federally declared flood disasters in Arizona between 2000 and 2010.  These historical disasters provide a detailed picture of how flooding can happen here and how devastating its effects can be for communities and residents.

  • 2010 – Combination of the damage caused by the Schultz Wildfire and heavy rains in July and August left 38 homes flooded and damaged by mud and debris.
  • 2006 – July and August monsoons caused widespread flooding that affected 93 communities across the state and cost more than $4M in damages.
  • 2000 – During a three week period at the end of October and beginning of November, 440 homes were damaged by flooding resulting in more than $4M in damages.

Protect your home, your possessions, and your peace of mind by purchasing a flood insurance policy today.  Don’t wait until you are knee deep in water and watching your furniture float out the window to decide you need flood insurance.

 
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