What I learned about Flood Claims from Hurricane Ike
Being a Licensed Insurance Agent in Texas for 14 years does not mean that a person has or will ever experience a wave of water 12 feet high devastating the homes of your friends. We were blessed that each client with a flooded home had flood insurance coverage. Even if you are a flood policy expert, the claims processing is a journey that can only be traveled.
Some things I've learned are:
- If you don't have a recent and current Elevation Certificate on your home, it's worth the $300 to update that document every 20 years or so.
- Flood Insurance does not cover movement of the earth such as dirt. Take care to assure that your piers and pilings are very secure.
- There is a $2,500 limit on collectibles. Even if you are in the business of collectibles, there is no way to extend the limit.
- Home Inventory your items BEFORE they are destroyed. Once the claim handler tells you to make a list of the items that were damaged, emotion and sensory overload sets in.
- Recoverable depreciation can be a significant part of the claim. Make sure you are insured to the proper value on your home or you will not be able to recoup the depreciation that is held back.
As emotional as the devastation of Hurricane Ike is to the Texas Coastal Community, the reward is watching strong individuals build their lives back one repair at a time.