Consider How Flood, Wind & Earthquake Risks Can Affect Your Home
As a homeowner, you should feel secure that many of the perils that can bedevil your house are covered by insurance. While homeowners insurance is an extremely valuable safety net, though, it is not a cure-all for everything that could go wrong on your property. And even if you have strong homeowners coverage in place, you still hold a responsibility to consider risks such as flooding and earthquake damage.
Maintaining your home is something you owe to yourself and your family. As such, it deserves your dedication. In light of hurricane season (which runs June 1 through September 30 on the Atlantic coast), implementing preemptive measures can protect your property. Spring and summer can also be a good time to review what your homeowners insurance will and won’t cover.
Structural damage coverage & its exceptions
According to the Insurance Information Institute (I.I.I.), most homeowners policies cover several significant damage-causing extreme weather phenomena: hurricanes, lightning strikes, hailstorms, tornadoes and wildfires (as well as fire).
Flooding-related damage, however, is not covered by homeowners insurance. As hurricanes often cause flooding, you need to prepare for that possibility ─ and not only by purchasing a separate flood insurance policy, though that’s certainly wise. (RC4 Insurance Agency, LLC provide access to flood insurance policies. with Selective Insurance Company)
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), a national nonprofit environmental advocacy organization, recommends the following preventive measures against flood risk:
Learn about your flood risk by visiting the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) website. This subsidiary of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has maps detailing the U.S. areas at greatest risk of flooding, as well as other resources.
Have your heating/ventilation/air conditioning (HVAC) systems and other utility-related hardware elevated on a platform or, if feasible, moved out of the basement or ground floor.
Consider installing a sewage water backstop to keep sewage from backing up into your home, if your basement floor drain backs up after heavy rains. This can be beneficial even outside of hurricane or flood season.
Earthquakes also aren’t covered in many homeowners insurance plans. While international steel engineering firm REIDsteel notes that it’s impossible to build a completely earthquake-proof structure, residents of earthquake-prone regions can inquire if their homes’ foundations are resistant to earthquakes. The firm states that a sideways-load-resistant design can reduce the risk of earthquake damage. It’s much easier to ensure this when first buying a home. Updating an existing home is possible, too.
Other preparation & prevention tactics
Popular Mechanics, an engineering and manufacturing periodical, lists tornado-prevention tips that are applicable to hurricane-proofing as well. After all, tornado winds typically exceed hurricane gusts by a considerable margin. So tactics appropriate for mitigating the former should readily work for the latter. Reinforcing all points and means of entry and exit to your home is a major aspect of storm-proofing. All doors, including the garage door, must be capable of withstanding winds at speeds of 150 miles per hour or greater. Shutters and plywood sheets ranging from 1/2 to 3/4 inches thick should be placed over windows.
Strengthening a house’s foundation is also essential, according to Popular Mechanics. Steel cable ties connected to the foundation’s beams or insulating concrete forms (ICFs) made with sturdy polystyrene can serve this purpose well.
Protecting your home goes beyond having the right insurance coverage. Looking at issues such as flood, earthquake and wind damage in light of your risk can help you take the right preventive measures on your property. Contact RC4 Insurance Agency, LLC today for a review.
Article From Selective Insurance Company