flooding - 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!

Prepare for this Week’s Storm!

Starting Sunday our area could see a major storm.  Sandy may be a Hurricane , Tropical Storm, or just heavy rains and thunderstorms.  Any of these scenarios can cause significant damage to your home and car. I urge you to prepare your home for the possibility of heavy rain, flooding and high winds this weekend.

Over the years we have had many storm claims.  Here are a few tips:

  • Clean out your gutters and downspouts.
  • Put away any furniture, toys, trash cans or other objects in your yard that could be thrown at your house during high winds.
  • Clean debris from any storm sewer drains near your home so they don’t back up. Especially this time of year you need to clear leaves from the storm sewer drains near your home.
  • Prepare your basements for possible flooding.
  • Make sure your sump pump and any backup systems are working properly.       Check out this link:
  • Park your car on high ground and away from trees.
  • Be careful when traveling in your car during a storm to know the area and stay away from flood prone areas.  Do not try to pass through standing water.
  • Make sure your cell phones are charged and any extra batteries have a full charge. Invest in a car charger so you can recharge your phone if you lose power.

Here are a few links with safety tips on how to prepare for a storm:

How to make a claim:
To report a claim we suggest the following:

  • Contact the company directly.  This speeds up the claim process.  Our office will get an acknowledgement of your claim within 24 hours.
  • If you have additional questions after you report the claim to your insurance company or cannot get through to your insurance company directly, you should call our office at 215-885-2200.
  • For a complete list of Insurance Company claim reporting phone numbers go to our website.


Hopefully, this storm will avoid our area, but making some preparations now can save you money and aggravation later. If you have any questions about your insurance coverage please call our office at 215-885-2200.  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.

 

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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