Month: September 2020

When is Flood Insurance Needed?

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5 Considerations for Obtaining Flood Insurance

Floods can happen anywhere, damaging numerous homes or businesses. Just one inch of floodwater can destroy a property within seconds. Everything from the buildings, flooring, furniture, carpet, and priceless belongings and documents, can be ruined.

Many assume that a mop or wet-vac can solve a minor flood quickly. The truth, however, is more serious. Standing water leads to mold growth and damage to the home’s foundation. Water damage to drywall and structurally essential parts of a building is a significant concern as it compromises its structural integrity.

Whether your home or business experiences a major flood or a few inches of water, you should consider flood insurance to protect the life and legacy you’ve built.

Is Flood Insurance Required?

Depending on where you live or own a business, you may be required to purchase flood insurance by your mortgage lender, especially if you are located in high-risk areas. Flooding can be caused by seasonal runoff, heavy rains, overflowing rivers, hurricanes, tropical storms, plumbing or roofing problems, and more.

Not all properties are at high-risk but can still experience flooding. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) more than 40 percent of flood claims happen in low to moderate risk regions across the United States. Even if you are not required to purchase it, it’s still a good idea to protect your property and personal belongings.

Who Can Purchase Flood Insurance?

Flood insurance can be purchased by homeowners, renters, and business owners to protect their belongings, homes, and businesses. Landlords can buy separate flood insurance policies to help protect their properties. To purchase a flood policy, these individuals generally need to live in communities that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program, managed by FEMA.

What is Covered Under Flood Insurance?

Typically, flood insurance is a separate policy designed to help protect your home and belongings if damaged in a minor or major flood. Flood insurance offers two types of coverage:

  1. Building Property Coverage helps pay to repair your home’s physical structure and its foundation and components such as siding, interior walls, floors, and plumbing and electrical materials if damaged by floodwater.
  2. Personal Contents Coverage helps pay to repair or replace your belongings, such as clothing, furniture, and electronics.

The maximum amount of coverage provided by flood insurance is $250,000 for a home and $100,000 for its contents. Excess flood insurance can be purchased for the additional coverage you need.

How Do You Purchase Flood Insurance?

To purchase flood insurance, all you need to do is contact your insurance company or agent, such as Schechner Lifson. It is essential to plan when purchasing flood insurance, as there is typically a 30-day waiting period for a National Flood Insurance Program policy to go into effect. However, sometimes plans can move faster if the coverages are related to a community flood map change or are required by a federally backed lender.

What’s Not Covered Under Flood Insurance?

While it’s important to know what flood insurance covers, it is equally important to understand what it doesn’t cover. The following are types of property and expenses outside the scope of flood insurance.

  • Outdoor property such as fences, patios, decks, wells and septic systems, pools, and landscaping
  • Cars and other self-propelled vehicles
  • Precious metals and paper valuables, currency, and stock certificates
  • Below ground rooms including crawl spaces and basements, and their contents
  • Moisture or mold/mildew damage

Ready to Purchase Flood Insurance?

Protect your home and personal property against loss caused by flooding. Schechner Lifson can help you learn more about flood insurance and why you should purchase a policy. Contact our trusted Personal Insurance Team today.

HOA Insurance 101

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Questions to Ask About HOA Insurance If You’re A Condo Owner

When people buy a house, there’s a standard suite of insurances that they commonly know to buy, including homeowner’s insurance, flood or hurricane insurance, and others. But for urban dwellers who get into property ownership via condos, the landscape of critical insurance policies to carry looks different and may not be as well known. A key type of insurance policy that condo owners must understand is homeowner’s association (HOA) insurance.

Unfortunately, many people don’t even know what HOA insurance is, even after they buy and move into their new condo. Because it is less discussed, a quick baseline review of HOA insurance is necessary:

What is HOA Insurance?

HOA insurance is typically compulsory for condo owners, but it isn’t a type of policy that you would buy for yourself. Rather, HOA insurance will be purchased by the HOA in your building, which is where a notable portion of your HOA payment dues will typically go. So when you buy a condo, you typically are required to sign onto the terms of the building’s existing HOA, and that HOA will then mandate a portion of your fees to pay into the HOA policy, otherwise known as a master policy.

What does HOA Insurance cover?

HOA insurance policies are designed to provide that individual is held liable for any accidents that may occur in common areas of the condo building. While individual condo owners will be responsible for insurance coverage for liability to people and property within their condo’s walls, many condos have common areas and group amenities like gyms, pools, lounges, etc. HOA dues also maintain these areas, and because accidents can occur in them, the owners of condo units need to be insured against anything that may happen.

What else do condo owners need to know?

Just because the HOA insurance policy is baked into your existing condo fees does not mean that, as a condo owner, you don’t need additional coverage. HOA insurance won’t cover property damage or personal injury to anyone inside your condo unit, so condo insurance will be necessary to make sure you’re completely covered.

The key to any condo owner is recognizing and understanding what is and isn’t covered by the HOA policy. Some HOA policies will go above and beyond and include extra coverage that may allow you to reduce what your personal condo policy needs to protect. In contrast, others will do the bare minimum, and it may be necessary for you to add more than you initially thought to your condo insurance policy.

If you’re unsure what your HOA policy covers and what that means for the individual policy you buy, it is advisable to reach out to a trusted insurance provider and advisor. Schechner Lifson Corporation is happy to review your situation and recommend coverage custom made for your needs. Get in touch with us today, so we make sure all your needs are met.

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