flood insurance - Spencer Insurance Agency, Inc

Important: We may not be on a direct path of Hurricane Florence but you should still prepare!

 

Hurricanes are very unpredictable and the predicted paths can change, but this does not mean we should not prepare for the worse. Fortunately it looks like our area is going to be spared from the brunt of the storm but a big impact of this storm is the potential for up to 30 inches of rain for the south. Hopefully things change and the storm is not as potent as it is predicted. This is hurricane season and there are two more storms following Florence and many times these storms reach us as tropical storms with a lot of rain and wind.

This summer has been one of the wettest on record for our area. The ground is saturated which means even a small amount of additional rain becomes a problem. Make sure you make preparations now:

• Inspect your roof, flashing and siding. Replace your roof or flashing if it is old and worn.
• Prepare your basement before flooding occurs. Raise items stored in the basement, make sure your sump pump has a battery backup, and think twice before making your basement a living area.
• Landscape your home to help absorb water and keep water away from your home.
• Check your gutters and downspouts to make sure they are not clogged.
• If you have a storm drain on the street near your home make sure it is clear of debris so the water can flow into the storm drain. Rake up leaves and other debris that may be clogging the storm drain.
• When you have a loss make sure you correct the problem that caused the loss so it does not happen to you again.

Most of us are in preferred flood zones but you should still consider the purchase of flood insurance. Rates are less expensive in preferred flood areas. That small dried up creek can rise quickly causing water to run through your property. Buying flood insurance now won’t help you with Florence as there is a 30 day waiting period but there are more storms in the future. You hear it all the time after an area floods “I have been living her for over 50 years and my home never had flooding before.” Don’t be the one that will say this to the reporter.

Keep in mind that when our area receives a storm watch or warning most of our insurance carriers will put a moratorium on our binding authority which means we may not be able to offer you insurance. Some tips:

• If you are making settlement on a home during a potential storm make sure the policy is issued now or delay settlement if possible until after the storm.
• If you are planning on picking up a new car I would suggest you wait until after the storm so your new car does not flood or get damaged by a tree reducing its value. Wait to take possession of the new car until after the storm leaves the area.
• Be aware of where you park your car during a storm to avoid flood and trees.
• Put your valuables on a separate inland marine policy. Many of these policies cover flood damage.
• Make sure you have enough water back-up coverage on your homeowner’s policy.

Even if you have the proper coverage claims are still a hassle. You still need to clean up and fix what is broken. So take some time to prepare and avoid possible claims. As always our staff at Spencer Insurance Agency is here to assist you with any claims you do have. Call us at 215-885-2200 to report a claim, review coverage or purchase flood insurance. Our website is also available 24 hours a day and has phone numbers for all our companies to report claims directly. Expect some delays as the volume of claim calls increases dramatically when a hurricane hits the United States.

Let’s hope for the best but prepare for the worse!

More heavy rain is expected Thursday and Friday

 

I don’t have to tell you that we have had a lot of rain this February but I guess it could have been snow!

On the news I heard the Philadelphia area has had 6 inches of rain in February.   Normally we have about 2.5 inches.  If April showers bring May flowers then what do February rains bring?

Flooding problems.  My sump pump is working overtime and my back yard lawn looks like a lake.  Well it looks like March is going to start with a bang.  Rainfall of another 1 to 2 inches of rain is predicted so make some preparations now. What can you do?

  • Make sure the storm drains on your street are not clogged with debris. If it is clogged then remove the debris so water can enter the storm drains.
  • Check your gutters to make sure they are not blocked.
  • Make sure gutters are placing water away from your house and foundation.

A few minutes of preparation can save you a mess later.  I always tell clients that even though you have the proper coverage having a claim is still a major pain.  Yes we can help you recover financially but you still need to do the cleanup.

While on the subject of rain I need to mention flood insurance.  I hear too many times from people that they do not need flood insurance because they are not in a flood zone.  Guess what:  Everyone is in a flood zone.  How severe it is depends on your location.

Let me share a couple examples of flood claims.

  • A water main break – we see it all the time and it floods homes
  • You live high on a hill, but above you is a water reservoir. The reservoir leaks and the water and mud comes down the hill into your home. (this happened to one of our clients)

By the way. . .  YOUR HOMEONWER’S INSURANCE POLICY DOES NOT COVER FLOOD!!!!!

If you are in a preferred flood zone you pay less.  Contact us today to learn more about flood insurance. You need to purchase flood insurance before the storm comes.  There is a 30 day waiting period after you purchase flood insurance before you have coverage.  So don’t delay call us for a flood insurance quote.  Don’t be one of those people on TV that you hear say “It never happened here before.”

Stay dry!

Ground Hog Day Predictions

groundhogOn Saturday, February 2, 2013 we will officially learn whether spring is near or to expect six more weeks of bad weather.
Come what may, as your preferred insurance agency we will be here to offer our protection.

Bad weather is one of the main reasons you need insurance since it can wreak havoc on everything you own.  Take the time now to make sure you are adequately covered for floods, hurricanes, earthquakes or tornadoes.

Bad weather is not the only thing that can wreak havoc on your family. The death or disability of one of the income producers of the family can devastate your family’s finances. The death of a parent can be emotionally draining for the family.  Don’t let the death of a parent be financially draining too.

Give us a call today at 215-885-2200 so we can review your protection and make any needed adjustments.

Your friends at Spencer Insurance Agency, Inc.

Did you receive our Email Alerts during Hurricane Irene?

During the recent hurricane, Spencer Insurance Agency sent email alerts to our clients.  These alerts were designed to both help you prepare for the approaching hurricane and help you recover after the hurricane.  We sent tips from FEMA and the American Red Cross along with a list of our companies’ claim reporting numbers.

Unfortunately not all our clients received this timely information.  If you did not receive the email alerts it is because we do not have your current email address or you opted out of our “tips and alerts.”

Send us your email address and we promise:

  • To send valuable alerts when storms approach our area
  • Send you valuable tips on getting the most out of your insurance
  • Send you valuable tips on how to avoid a costly loss
  • Not to spam your account
  • Not to share your email address with anyone else except as required by law

Your email address helps us give you better customer service by:

  • Sending you notices of cancellations
  • Sending you an auto ID card
  • Sending you proof of insurance
  • Sending you a request for missing information

To opt into our email alerts, send us an email to info@spencerinsurance.com and we will add you to our email alert system.

You will start receiving valuable tips and alerts and timelier customer service.  Typically we send out two tips a month and alerts when necessary.  You can always opt out of the system.

Help us better protect you by sending us your updated email address.  Be sure to give us the best email address to contact you and let us know if it is your personal or business email address.

At Spencer Insurance “Your Protection and Peace of Mind is Our Only Business!”

Are the hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, wild fires and flooding over?

Earthquakes, hurricanes and flooding?

I must be talking about the West Coast, Midwest and Mississippi Valley regions.  Before August and September of 2011 if I talked to clients about earthquake insurance
and flood insurance, people would look at me like I had two heads!

August and September changed all that!  I don’t know about you but I am tired of cleaning water out of my basement.  Fortunately for me, I had only a few inches each time and my basement is not a finished basement.

Did you have the proper coverage for all your storm related problems?  Can you find the protection you need?  Did you check with your agent?

Now that the dust has settled a bit, it is time to review your homeowner’s insurance with your agent. Here is a list of the most frequent claims our clients reported from the recent storms and flooding:

  • Wind/Fallen tree damage
  • Sump pump failure and water backup
  • Flooding
  • Cars flooded
  • Roof damage

Another issue that pops up during a named storm is your deductible.  There is an insurance company is Pennsylvania that puts a “Named Storm” deductible on homeowner’s policies.  That deductible can be 2% of your “coverage A”.  That means if you have damage to your house from a “Named Storm” like Irene, you may need to pay the first 2%.  If your house is insured
for $250,000 that means your deductible is $5000.  Does your policy have this “Named Storm” deductible?

This type of “Named Storm or Hurricane” deductible is common in coastal areas or areas hit by tornadoes.  We may see more companies adding this type of deductible in Pennsylvania.  However, what many people do not know is they can lower that deductible or eliminate it and just have a normal $500 or $1000 deductible.  Sure, it will cost a few dollars more but it may be worth it.

Call your agent today to discuss your homeowner’s policy and to make sure you are covered for the above list of claims.

By the way. . . the three flooding claims that were reported to our office were in “B” or “X” zones  which are not considered 100 year flood areas and do not require the purchase of flood insurance.  All three clients were extremely happy they purchased the flood insurance even though they were not required to have it.  One of their neighbors who did not have flood insurance wants us to quote them.

Share with me by commenting below what your experience was with the storm.  If you have a question ask it in the comment section and I will respond.  As the Boy Scouts motto reads: Be Prepared!

For more tips visit our Website.

 

An Earthquake, Hurricane Irene and Tornados; Are you prepared for an emergency?

I felt my first earthquake last Tuesday and it was strange.  I thought our large dog, Bella, was banging into my chair.  That was before my desk started shaking and there was no dog in sight.

Fortunately for our area it does not seem that there was much damage and our dog Bella is fine.

The quake’s epicenter was in Mineral Virginia.  A couple weeks ago our family was on vacation near  Lake Anna in Mineral VA.  It is a small world.  During our vacation we took a boat ride of Lake Anna which took us past the nuclear power plant on Lake Anna.  It got me to wonder what emergency plans the power plant had in place.  I saw on the news where the plant went into immediate shutdown as a precaution and had back up pumps to cool the plant.  The plant had a plan!

What emergency plans do you have in place?  Yes, our area is fortunate that we don’t get earthquakes, tornados or hurricanes very often. However this past year we have had tornados, an earthquake and we are staring down Hurricane Irene as I write this blog.  You need to be prepared for an emergency.  It could be a flood, fire, or tree falling on your house.  It could also be something on a larger scale like a hurricane, tornado or earthquake.

FEMA has a website to help you in getting an emergency plan together.  Here is the link: http://www.fema.gov/plan/index.shtm.

It does not hurt to be prepared.  We may not have another earthquake in my lifetime here in the East, but we are sure to have another bad storm with flash floods and fallen trees.  Call our office
at 215-885-2200 with any questions you may have about your coverage and how to prepare for an emergency.  Share your hurricane and earth quake stories with us.  Let us know what preparations you made and what damage you suffered.  Also, let me know if our email alerts were helpful to you.  Just leave your comments below.

A lot of people, including me, do not have earthquake insurance.  I suspect we may get a few questions about an Earthquake policy.  Call us if you have questions.

April Showers Bring May Floods!

Spring is here and flowers are blooming.  It is great to see everything come alive again.  However, spring showers bring the risk of flooding.

Here are a few quick Flood Facts:

  1. You are NOT covered for flood damage if you do not have a flood insurance policy.
  2. 98% of homeowners do NOT have a policy and 25% of flood claims happen in low-moderate risk flood zones.
  3. According to FloodSmart.com, ANY home has a 26% chance of being damaged by a flood during a 30 year mortgage, compared to a 9% chance of being damaged by fire. Visit Here for more information from FloodSmart.gov.
  4. Flood insurance is affordable.  For example: Federal disaster assistance is usually a loan that must be paid back with interest.  For a $50,000 loan at 4% interest, your monthly payment would be around $240 a month ($2880 a year) for 30 yrs.  Now compare that to a $100,000 flood insurance premium, which is about $500 a year ($33 a month).

    Always remember that a flood insurance policy does NOT take effect until 30 days AFTER its purchase.

Do you have any stories of flooding that you can share?  If so, comment below and let us know, what happened to you?  Don’t wait until it is too late. 

  How often have we heard on TV someone say “I have been living here 50 years and this never happened before? 

 Call us today at 215-885-2200 for more information on protecting your home from flooding.

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