Ask Andy: Filing claims on flooded homes - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Ask Andy: Filing claims on flooded homes

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(WMC) - If you don't have flood insurance, your homeowner's insurance policy might not cover flood damage.

Those of you who've suffered flood damage this go-round, review your policy. Check its terms and conditions on flood damage and pray for a gracious adjuster.

Those of you who dodged the flooding this time, you might need to consider flood insurance. You don't have to live in a flood zone to get flood insurance.

Through the federal National Flood Insurance Program, anyone can get flood insurance and get it relatively cheap -- as low as $129 annually for $25,000 building coverage plus $8,000 contents coverage. Even though the federal government subsidizes it, flood insurance must be purchased through a private agent. Go to FloodSmart.gov and use its agent locator to find an agent who can discuss and sell a policy that fits you.

If you are properly insured and your home's damaged, follow these steps as suggested by the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance:

* TAKE INVENTORY. Take pictures or video of your valuables, including the serial numbers on high-end electronics if you can.

* SECURE YOUR PROPERTY AGAINST ANY FURTHER WATER DAMAGE before an adjuster gets there. Then leave it alone. The adjuster needs to see it in its damaged state, along with your pictures or video.

* KEEP RECEIPTS OF YOUR EXPENSES. Hotel stays, restaurant meals, the visqueen plastic you bought to cover Grandma's pie chest -- if you bought it because of the flood damage, save the receipt and show it to your adjuster.

If you're renting the house, you may be out of luck, even if you have renters insurance.

"Renters need to get renters insurance to cover their belongings, but flooding is not covered under the standard renters policy," said Kip Diggs of State Farm Insurance. "In most instances, a landlord's insurance will not cover a renter's property."

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