If a natural disaster strikes your residence, it is a tremendous comfort to know that you have the right homeowners insurance protection in place. Your home is your sanctuary. Being prepared for events out of your control can be the difference between financial recovery and a financial nightmare. In North Carolina, protection against hurricane and flood damage are important considerations for homeowners as North Carolina has the third highest number of hurricanes in the country.
What is Natural Disaster Insurance?
Homeowners insurance protects the value of your home and your belongings when they are damaged by an event covered under your policies. After a damaging event occurs, your insurance agent will help you file a claim. Your insurance company then processes the claim to get you the money that your policy permits to repair your damages, and replace lost belongings that are included in your coverage.
What Events Can be Covered?
Homeowner insurance policies cover a wide range of events. You are left to decide which of your items should be covered in your individual policies. Most policies across the country provide coverage for events such as theft, fire, and smoke. Natural disaster coverage varies depending on where you live, as some areas are more vulnerable than others to certain natural events such as hurricanes, tornadoes, flood, earthquakes, lightning strikes, wind, dust storms, and fires.
Here in North Carolina, hurricanes are one of the most common events that trigger a home insurance claim. High winds, heavy rain, and hail from these intense storms can cause serious property damage, making hurricane coverage a must-have for houses near the coast, as well as many areas further inland.
Flooding is a major risk in North Carolina. As many North Carolinians know, hurricanes bring more than just fierce high winds. They also carry an immense amount of rainwater or cause ocean surges that can result in terrible flood damage. Flash flooding from a hurricane can destroy lower levels of a housing structure. Of course, flooding does not only occur from hurricanes. Coastal storm surges, intensely heavy rain storms, or even snow melt can result in floods. Flooding is one of the most common natural disasters in the United States.
Unfortunately, many homeowners are unaware that flooding is typically not covered under a standard home insurance policy. This is true in North Carolina and in most states in the country. Flood damage is usually only covered by a flood policy that is purchased alongside your home insurance policy. While your home insurance policy might cover wind damage from a hurricane, a flood insurance policy will cover water damage from a hurricane, a storm surge, or rainwater flooding. This damage can be very prohibitively expensive. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), an inch of water inside a home or building can cost around $27,000. Several inches of water can cost much more.
Flood insurance can only be purchased through an insurance agent or an insurer participating in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Rates are determined by the government and do not differ across insurance companies. Homeowners located in high-risk flood areas with mortgages from federally-backed bank lenders are required to have flood insurance. Your mortgage lender should inform you if your home falls in a flood risk area, and a good insurance agent will work with you to make sure you are clear about coverage details, as well as exclusions and limitations. They will also help you select the right financial coverage for your particular location and needs at, or above, the minimal requirements of your mortgage lender.
Another common insurance claim filed in North Carolina is for tornado damage. The western half of North Carolina often experiences tornadoes and severe thunderstorms in the warmer months. In fact, an average of 31 tornadoes touch down in North Carolina every year. Your insurance agent will know if you are in a high risk area for tornadoes. Here again, the damage from a tornado can be prohibitively expensive if you don’t have the right insurance policy.
Unforeseen events and natural disasters happen every day. The last thing you need after a disaster is to discover that you are not properly covered by insurance. Being prepared is critical if you want to prevent yet another disaster— a financial one. A key component of natural disaster preparedness is making sure you have the right policies in place, and making sure those policies are current.
“We work with multiple top providers that will help you during events such as a hurricane, where many things often get damaged in addition to your home such as autos, and other vehicles that are outside,” said Dan Thompson, founder and agent for Dan Thompson Agency. “Some policies have just one deductible for a natural disaster and even if not, having bundled policies means working with only one company to get the auto, ATV, and home repaired.”
Finding the right natural disaster insurance can feel overwhelming. Here at Dan Thompson Agency in Raleigh, we’ll help you select policies based on your location, risks, and assets. We can provide you with the protection needed to give you the security you deserve. We’ll listen to your particular needs, talk about your options, and set you up with the best coverage possible at an affordable price.
Dan Thompson Agency is a family-owned and operated firm with decades of experience. Based in Raleigh, we understand the needs of customers in North Carolina. We love what we do, and we love serving our community. If you have insurance needs or questions, contact us today. Let us give you peace of mind today that you are prepared for any future natural disasters.