As of July 2016, just 15% of homeowners in Houston carried flood insurance. This number has increased since Hurricane Harvey, but far too many homeowners in this bayou city are still without flood protection. Here is why you should purchase flood coverage:
Flood insurance is not included in your home insurance policy: Some people don’t even realize they are without coverage until the worst happens. Your home insurance carrier will deny all claims relating to rising waters entering the home.
Flood insurance is not expensive: With rates starting at just $349 a year for $100,000 in building coverage and $40,000 in contents coverage, flood insurance is the best value insurance that money can buy.
Disaster assistance is not enough to rebuild or elevate your home: Even a few inches of flood water can cause devastating and costly damage, and a handout from the government will likely cover just a small fraction of your expenses.
Flooding is unpredictable: Many homes that flooded during the Memorial Day floods in Houston in 2016 were unaffected by Harvey …. and vice versa. Urban development, weather patterns, and other factors mean that literally anywhere in Houston is at risk of flooding.
You’re grandfathered in: Flood maps in Houston are expected to change as more severe weather events become the norm. Buy a preferred zone flood policy now and keep it active, and you’ll keep the same low rate even if your neighborhood gets rezoned and premiums double.
Flood season is coming: June through October is when the most severe weather events occur in Houston. There is a 30-day waiting period after you purchase flood coverage before the policy takes effect, so get your protection in place before the rain arrives!
1. Replacement Cost This means that the insurance company will pay to replace your roof and contents. If your quote does not include the words Replacement Cost, you’ll be stuck with an Actual Cash Value (ACV) policy, which factors in depreciation before paying out on a claim. Memorial Insurance offers only Replacement Cost policies.
2. Low deductibles The deductible is the portion of the claim you pay before the insurance company takes care of the rest. Common deductibles are 2% for wind and hail, and 1% for all other perils. Any higher than this, and you’ll be paying a lot of money out of pocket before the insurance kicks in.
3. NO policy fees Some insurance agents charge a policy fee to their customers, over and above the commission they already receive from the insurance company. Why pay $150 to your agent to do a job that other agents offer for free? Memorial Insurance never charges policy fees.
4. Adequate coverage If your home isn’t insured to the full cost of rebuilding, you are going to find yourself seriously out of pocket in the case of a total loss. Remember that even if you have an older home, the cost to rebuild it will be at 2018 prices, so you’ll want a 2018 insurance policy to match!
5. Water backup This is when a blocked drain causes sewage and waste water to back up into your home. Coverage is inexpensive, but not included in a standard home insurance policy, so make sure your insurance agent adds it!
6. Reputable company Hopefully you never have to put this to the test, but some carriers routinely outperform others when it comes to paying out on claims. Ask your agent for impartial advice on which carriers are best when the worst happens.
7. Flood coverage Protection against flood is not included in any home insurance policy – it must be purchased separately. No home in Houston should be without flood coverage, so ask your agent about purchasing a flood insurance policy today!
Owning a home can feel liberating and fill you with pride, but it also comes with its unique set of anxieties. Living in Houston, TX, you get plenty of reasons to make sure you have adequate insurance on your home. Still, many people underestimate just how useful their policy is. That is why Memorial Insurance Agency has put together this short list of fairly typical claims that many people don’t know can be covered.
When you own a home, mold can be a scary threat. Once it gets a foothold, it can be incredibly difficult to eliminate. And, because it offers sincere threats to health, it’s important to kill the mold at any cost. While every policy is unique, there have been plenty of instances where mold removal was covered by insurance. The rule of thumb is that the mold growth has to be the result of something that is typically covered — like a pipe bursting.
No, this isn’t a specific policy that protects you from refugees (whatever that means). Instead, most home policies include some form of coverage to help you with temporary housing if you are displaced. Folks in Houston, TX, might have some idea of this concept. It isn’t the government paying for hotels or other temporary living situations; insurance companies tend to bear the brunt of that expense. As always, this type of coverage varies by policy, so don’t assume it’s there.
Pet owners often do know that some levels of the havoc wrought by their furry friends can be covered by insurance. But, even if you don’t have pets or even live anywhere near the wild, animals can still cause expensive damage. As an example, birds will occasionally fly into a window or damage a power line. If that happens to you, your insurance might be able to help.
There are more reasons to investigate your insurance policy than can fit in a short post like this. It’s always best to have a chat with your Memorial Insurance Agency representative and make sure you know exactly how they are protecting you.