Thursday, January 28, 2010

Your Need for Flood Coverage

by Frank Graham, Owner of Graham Insurance Agency

Just the other day I was driving down highway 5, from downtown to Natomas, and saw the amount of flooding in Discovery Park. I lived in Natomas in my first five years in Sacramento and have seen the levy fill up to the brim. It wouldn't take much more H2O for a flood to spread across the entire valley basin. In 1985 there was a flood that caused me to move temporarily from my riverside apartment in Tulsa, Oklahoma. I witnessed a 18 wheel semi truck trailer pinned up against the side of a pedestrian bridge and large oak trees washed up on top of structures. Sacramento is safe in many ways, but one of the most vulnerable communities to massive flooding in the country. Many have already suffered a flooding either here or elsewhere and some were completely without coverage when it happened. Ironically, within the same year I experienced a flood in Tulsa, there was a significant flood in Sacramento. Doubtless, we experienced much the same.

Given our exposure to risk in the central valley, flood insurance is a great idea even if you aren't required to have it. In many areas of Sacramento and the rest of California, flooding is all too common. If a river runs outside its banks, or if the accumulation of water causes only an inch of water in your home, you risk thousands of dollars of damage that you may well be otherwise unprepared for. Sandbagging is a preventative measure that could stop or delay flooding to your home and this could provide valuable time for you to remove or relocate your property, but it isn't an end all for many reasons.

If you need coverage, go with an agent you can trust. In times of emergency, you need an agent who will stand by your side to make sure your needs are attended to fairly and quickly. Go to an agent with current NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) training. Note that extra care should also be taken when insuring for flood. Contents and the home itself are insured separately. One must be sure to have both things covered and covered properly. If you live in an apartment, rented home, or condo, coverage is also available for you. Flood coverage is generally some of the most affordable and practical forms of protection there is. FEMA supervises the national flood program and our agency can help you write a policy designed specifically for you.

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