12 On Your Side: What you need to know about flood insurance

By: Katie Beasley Email
By: Katie Beasley Email

News 12 at 6 o'clock / Monday, Aug. 13, 2012

EVANS, Ga. -- Most of us don't think much about flood insurance until it's too late and the damage is done, but experts say now is the time to act to try and protect yourself.

"My bedroom flooded, the den flooded, kitchen flooded. No flood insurance," showed off Clifford Graham of Augusta.

"It was shooting out the front door just like a river. I have no idea how much this could possibly cost us," said Pamela Thomas Williams of Martinez.

Residents are still drying out after being flooded out of their homes. Two days last week the area saw up to 5 inches fall in minutes.

"What we saw last Tuesday and on Saturday is so unusual, I'm still trying to figure it out," said Columbia County EMA Director Pam Tucker. "Ponds overflowed, creeks, streams, drainage systems were overwhelmed."

One common misconception with flooding is that your homeowner's insurance will cover damage.

"Your regular homeowner's policy will not cover flood," Tucker clarified.

Only homes in high-risk areas are required by FEMA to have flood insurance, but they aren't the only ones to see rising waters.

"Up to 20 percent of all flood claims come from people who are not on the map who are in those moderate to low risk areas," Tucker said.

And the damage can cost you big bucks. A flood cost estimator shows just 2 inches inside your home can cost approximately $7,800.

"You end up replacing all your carpet, all your furniture, your air conditioner, all of your personal items, and it's extremely expensive -- even a couple of inches of water can cause massive damage," Tucker said.

So if you saw any flooding or think you could in the future, experts suggest for you to act now.

"You're in a low area or you're near a creek or stream or pond, then you probably need to look into it," Tucker said. "Consider it. For a couple hundred dollars a year, that's a lot of peace of mind."

If you are worried, you should act fast. There are a few more months of hurricane season to go and the insurance takes 30 days to go into affect.

Another misconception is that it's very expensive, but with the National Flood Insurance Program, it can be affordable and with a preferred policy, you can pick what you'd like to cover.

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