Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Why You Should Consider Flood Insurance in Boston

Prepare Your Property For Flooding and Water Damage

The purpose of this article is to give ways for landlords and renters to prepare your property and personal valuables from detrimental flooding in Boston, MA.

Flooding is the most common and costly natural disaster in the United States. Flood insurance is a great investment for both property owners and renters to prevent significant financial loss. 
Your decision to take out a flood insurance policy will be based partly on two things: 
  1. Risk of flooding in your area
  2. Value of your possessions and/or property.  
As our sea levels continue to rise yearly, one thing that we cannot avoid discussing is the chance of floods and the cost of higher premiums over time as the demand for policies may increase.  
When choosing flood insurance it is important to assess risk, know the coverage limits of your flood insurance policy, and not to rely on the government to financially rescue you. 
*Understand that your insurance plan's increase of high premium rates will depend on your property value.

Risk Assessment For Flood Insurance

Homeowners are 26 times more likely to be affected by a flood than a home fire as calculated by the Independent Insurance Agents and Brokers of AmericaYou can also expect the risk of floods to continue to increase in Boston, MA with a 70% increase in heavy rainfall in the Northeast from 1958.

But only about 1 in 4 homes in high risk areas carry this kind of insurance.
Map of boston flooding
Courtesy of ClimateCentral.org
Most homes in Boston, MA are inevitably under-insured due to being located in higher risk areas since we are near the coast line and are along the Charles River. The help of a Boston property management company can only do so much to preserve the welfare of your property. 

Steps to Prepare Property for Flooding in Boston

Most property owners would believe that they do not have enough valuable items to even take out a policy for rental property damage control. If that is your circumstance, you can do a things to help prevent permanent damage to your floors, windows, furniture, upholstery, and other items by doing the following:
  • Seal your windows with heat-shrink window films along the ground floor and basement. You can purchase this at any hardware or home improvement store
  • Apply more grout down in between your floor tiles to prevent them from erosion
  • Caulk your tub, counters, sinks, and glue any infrequently used lower cabinets shut 
  • Map the risk of your property's location by contacting the FEMA's National Flood Insurance Program called FIRMS or call 888-379-9531. 

Knowledge of Limits to Flood & Renter Insurance Policy Coverage

Please note that flood insurance covers damage resulting from rising water from outside the house. 

But it doesn't cover: 
  • Leaky bathtub 
  • Broken pipes
  • Sewer back-ups
Tenants should consider renter's insurance since they have valuables that need to be covered inside of their humble abode. Renter's insurance will help protect property not included in flood insurance.

It is important to have effective communication methods for renter's and property owners to ensure everyone is on the same page in the course of a natural disaster. 

Get Flood Insurance - Dont Rely On The Government

Sue Nestor of the IIAB states that "one-third of claims we see come from people who live outside flood zones.This means that even though may not live near a body of water, you still cannot elude the risk of flooding. 

Why Flood Insurance & Renter's Insurance for your Property in Boston?

The selling points for insurance products and services to new customers is chance, future value, and financial security with a value proposition of education on what is covered in the policy. Keep in mind that finished basements including carpeting, wallpaper or personal belongings are not insured by the government, nor are they insured with an excess flood insurance policy.

Knowing the ins-and-outs of your insurance plans will help gauge what you should place up high, what needs extra caulk and how much extra work should be done to insure flooding stays out of your home in Boston, MA.

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