Monsoon Season Is Here; Be Prepared With Flood Insurance

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Most Arizonans know the risks and heed the warnings of summer monsoons with heavy storms, lightning and flash flooding. But many residents face the risk of uncovered losses due to property damage because they don’t have flood insurance.

Flood insurance must be purchased separately from homeowner’s insurance. Coverage for that peril is available through the federal government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Go to www.floodsmart.gov or phone 1-888-379-9531 to learn more. Because there is a 30-day waiting period before most policies go into effect, Arizona residents are urged to contact their insurance agent or representative and the NFIP as soon as possible.

According to the NFIP, the average annual premium for flood insurance in the U.S. is around $558. Compare that to the fact that just four inches of flood water in the average home will create over $7,800 in damages; and the average flood insurance claim in the U.S. was over $49,000 for the past 10 years (through 2008).

“Arizona’s summer storms cause damage by rapidly rising flood waters that can only be covered by a separate flood insurance policy,” says Ron Williams, executive director of the Arizona Insurance Council (AIC). “Check with your insurance agent or company representative about your current homeowner’s coverage and what additional coverage you may need through the National Flood Insurance Program.”

Flood insurance covers losses to property where flooding damages structures; furnaces, water heaters and air conditioning units; floor surfaces (carpeting and title); and pays for cleanup of flood debris. You can also buy flood insurance coverage for the contents of your home.

The Arizona Insurance Council offers free software for creating an inventory of your home’s contents through the Insurance Information Institute. “Know Your Stuff — Home Inventory,” makes creating and updating your home inventory easy and efficient. Having a home inventory will be invaluable when making an insurance claim for any covered risk.

To download the free home inventory software and to learn more about property and casualty insurance in Arizona visit azinsurance.org.

The Arizona Insurance Council is a nonprofit organization supported by member companies in the property-casualty insurance business.

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