Flood Damage? How to Protect Yourself With Tips From American Express Property and Casualty

Apr 13, 2001, 01:00 ET from American Express Property and Casualty

    MINNEAPOLIS, April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Springtime flooding is a major
 concern for residents throughout the Midwest.  But did you know that flood
 damage is excluded on a typical homeowner's insurance policy?  However, there
 are ways to protect yourself.
     American Express Property and Casualty is providing the following
 information and tips for homeowners concerned about flood damage to their
 homes:
 
     -- Review your homeowner's policy to find out what is and isn't covered.
        Water damage as a result of flooding is usually not covered under a
        homeowner's insurance policy because flooding is considered a natural
        catastrophe.  Flooding is defined as water that does not stay within
        its normal confines, such as the banks of a river or stream.
 
     -- Investigate the likelihood of your home being flooded.  Call your local
        city or county government office to find out if you live in a flood
        plain.  If your home is located in a flood plain, mortgage companies
        typically require you to buy flood insurance.  Average cost is about
        $200 per year for $100,000 - $150,000 in coverage, but varies by area.
 
     -- Contact your insurance agent or the Federal Emergency Management
        Association (FEMA) if you do not have flood insurance, and you do live
        in a flood plain.  The federal government is the only agency that
        provides flood insurance for homeowners living in a flood plain.  Some
        insurance companies do write their own policies, but any and all claims
        are re-insured by the federal government.
 
     -- You can purchase special insurance coverage called "sewer and water
        backup" insurance if you don't live in a flood plain but are still
        concerned about possible water damage.  This insurance allows
        homeowners to file claims for water damage in their basement and homes
        caused by street sewer and water pipes backing up into their residence.
        Sump pumps that quit working and result in water damage are generally
        covered under this type of policy.  The cost of this insurance is
        typically $25 - $40 annually for $5,000 damage in any one incident, but
        it is subject to a deductible.
 
     -- Inventory the contents of your home.  In a separate place, keep serial
        numbers, photographs and an estimate of value for all valuable items,
        such as major appliances and furniture.  A pre-loss inventory is always
        more accurate than a post-loss inventory, and it takes one-tenth the
        time.
 
     -- Don't forget about your car. Flood damage to your automobile is covered
        if you have comprehensive physical damage coverage under your
        automobile insurance policy.
 
     -- Anyone who is interested in learning more about the terms and
        conditions surrounding flood insurance is encouraged to visit the FEMA
        website at http://www.fema.gov .  Or, call FEMA at 800-480-2520. You
        may also call 888-269-9171 toll free to speak directly to an agent at
        American Express Property and Casualty about flood insurance.
 
     American Express Property and Casualty, located in Green Bay, Wis., is a
 direct response property/casualty company selling and servicing automobile,
 homeowners, and personal umbrella liability insurance.  In 1986, American
 Express Financial Advisors, one of the country's leading personal financial
 planning companies, added property/casualty insurance to its portfolio of
 products and service.  American Express Property and Casualty insures more
 than 135,000 policyholders in 35 states. For more information, visit our
 website at http://www.americanexpress.com
 
 

SOURCE American Express Property and Casualty
    MINNEAPOLIS, April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- Springtime flooding is a major
 concern for residents throughout the Midwest.  But did you know that flood
 damage is excluded on a typical homeowner's insurance policy?  However, there
 are ways to protect yourself.
     American Express Property and Casualty is providing the following
 information and tips for homeowners concerned about flood damage to their
 homes:
 
     -- Review your homeowner's policy to find out what is and isn't covered.
        Water damage as a result of flooding is usually not covered under a
        homeowner's insurance policy because flooding is considered a natural
        catastrophe.  Flooding is defined as water that does not stay within
        its normal confines, such as the banks of a river or stream.
 
     -- Investigate the likelihood of your home being flooded.  Call your local
        city or county government office to find out if you live in a flood
        plain.  If your home is located in a flood plain, mortgage companies
        typically require you to buy flood insurance.  Average cost is about
        $200 per year for $100,000 - $150,000 in coverage, but varies by area.
 
     -- Contact your insurance agent or the Federal Emergency Management
        Association (FEMA) if you do not have flood insurance, and you do live
        in a flood plain.  The federal government is the only agency that
        provides flood insurance for homeowners living in a flood plain.  Some
        insurance companies do write their own policies, but any and all claims
        are re-insured by the federal government.
 
     -- You can purchase special insurance coverage called "sewer and water
        backup" insurance if you don't live in a flood plain but are still
        concerned about possible water damage.  This insurance allows
        homeowners to file claims for water damage in their basement and homes
        caused by street sewer and water pipes backing up into their residence.
        Sump pumps that quit working and result in water damage are generally
        covered under this type of policy.  The cost of this insurance is
        typically $25 - $40 annually for $5,000 damage in any one incident, but
        it is subject to a deductible.
 
     -- Inventory the contents of your home.  In a separate place, keep serial
        numbers, photographs and an estimate of value for all valuable items,
        such as major appliances and furniture.  A pre-loss inventory is always
        more accurate than a post-loss inventory, and it takes one-tenth the
        time.
 
     -- Don't forget about your car. Flood damage to your automobile is covered
        if you have comprehensive physical damage coverage under your
        automobile insurance policy.
 
     -- Anyone who is interested in learning more about the terms and
        conditions surrounding flood insurance is encouraged to visit the FEMA
        website at http://www.fema.gov .  Or, call FEMA at 800-480-2520. You
        may also call 888-269-9171 toll free to speak directly to an agent at
        American Express Property and Casualty about flood insurance.
 
     American Express Property and Casualty, located in Green Bay, Wis., is a
 direct response property/casualty company selling and servicing automobile,
 homeowners, and personal umbrella liability insurance.  In 1986, American
 Express Financial Advisors, one of the country's leading personal financial
 planning companies, added property/casualty insurance to its portfolio of
 products and service.  American Express Property and Casualty insures more
 than 135,000 policyholders in 35 states. For more information, visit our
 website at http://www.americanexpress.com
 
 SOURCE  American Express Property and Casualty