Prepare for Any Disaster: Know What Your Insurance Covers

Hurricane season is a time of year that all Louisiana residents know well.  Chances are your home has some sort of insurance, but do you know exactly what your policy covers?  The team at Broussard Poché, LLP wants to make sure you’re prepared for the worst.

Let’s look at whether or not you need flood insurance.  First of all, realize that standard homeowner’s insurances do not normally include flood insurance.  And you shouldn’t rely on FEMA assistance after the fact.  Those grants are usually only available if the flood damage is widespread.  Here’s what you need to consider.

  • Are you in a high-risk area? (If you’re reading this from coastal Louisiana the answer is probably yes.)
  • Repair cost vs coverage cost
  • Can you cover repairs on your own?
  • Can you sure up your property?  (build levees, raise home, etc)

The answers to those questions should paint a clear picture on whether or not you should invest in flood insurance.  And remember, flooding doesn’t always limit itself to hurricanes and tropical storms.  Rainstorms can also cause widespread damage.

Normally you can’t buy flood insurance as an add-on to your homeowner’s policy. If you are eligible, you can purchase a separate flood insurance policy through an insurance company within the National Flood Insurance Program. A few insurance companies also offer extra flood insurance policies to go along with NFIP coverage.

Keep in mind, flood insurance offers some protection for flood-related damage but not everything is covered. For example, a policy will probably not cover seepage or failure of a sump pump or damage caused by sewer backups, unless these events are directly related to a flood.

Once you purchase the proper insurance there are a few more things to be aware of BEFORE you try to use it.

  • Deductibles: Know how much you will have to cover to trigger your policy and plan accordingly.  It’s a good idea to keep the amount to cover your deductible in an emergency fund savings account.
  • Inventory:  Know what needs to be replaced.  Document your belongings in pictures BEFORE a disaster hits.  Save your pictures to a cloud or drive that can be remotely accessed. Hurricanes can lead to disagreements between homeowners and insurers, particularly when there’s a combination of flood and wind damage in the aftermath.

We live in an area that’s prone to hurricanes and flooding.  It’s smart to be prepared for the worst-case scenario.  Contact the financial experts at Broussard Poché, LLP if you need help deciding which coverage you can afford, or which coverage you can’t afford to live without.