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January 4, 2013

Help Protect Your Home Before A Flood

The average flood loss cost is $48,000 for homeowners and $85,000 on commercial property according to the National Flood Insurance Program. In advance of the spring storm season, now is the time to prepare for floods and consider your flood insurance needs. And, according to FEMA, higher than expected drought and fire conditions increase the risk of flash floods, especially as the spring storm season approaches.
“Unfortunately, floods can happen anywhere, even in low risk flood zones. But there are a few simple things property owners can do to help prepare and protect their home and business,” saysMark Green, senior vice president, Allstate. “Insurance coverage is critical. Some consumers mistakenly believe that flood damage is covered by most standard home, renters or commercial insurance policies. National Flood Safety Awareness Week is a reminder for everyone to talk to their local insurance agent before the spring storm season to get information about flood coverage.”

The Insurance Institute for Business and Home Safety offer these tips to prepare for floods.

• Keep drains, gutters and downspouts clear of debris.

• Prepare an evacuation plan with a kit that includes insurance documents, medications and critical items in case you need to leave your home for a few days.

• Inspect sump pumps and drains regularly to ensure proper operation.

• Have a licensed electrician raise electric components at least 12 inches above the expected flood levels for your area.

• To prevent sewage backup, have a licensed plumber install an interior or exterior backflow valve. Make sure your yard’s grading (slope) directs water away from the building.

• Have the installation of your furnace, water heater and other permanent equipment modified so that they are elevated above the expected flood levels for your area.