Flood waters swept across the western Corn Belt this week. Farmers in this region are experiencing a century storm, the kind of devastation that lives on in family folklore for generations. Unfortunately, meteorologists and the Army Corps of Engineers agree the flooding will likely get worse before it gets better. And to make matters more complicated, flood damage is usually not covered by homeowner’s insurance.
“We encourage property owners to think safety first and to report any claims as soon as possible to begin the recovery process,” said Brooke Kelley, APCIA assistant vice president for public affairs in a press release. “It is also important this time of year to make sure you review your insurance policy, take a home inventory, and keep your insurer or agent’s number handy.”
While the standard homeowner’s policy covers damage from a wide variety of events, including strong winds caused from a tornado, it does not cover flooding, Kelley clarified. Flood damage coverage is purchased through the National Flood insurance Program and must be purchased as a separate policy.
Additionally, it’s important to understand that flood policies take 30 days to go into effect.
However, according to the Nebraska Department of Insurance, some farm insurance policies cover losses to farm equipment and livestock due to flooding.
Document damage. Regardless of current coverage, contact your insurer right away to get the claims process started if you suffer flood damage.
“Make a list of damages and take photographs before you start cleaning up,” Kelley advised. “Set aside damaged furniture and other expensive items to show to your adjuster and keep receipts for any temporary repairs that you make.”
Accurate record keeping is critical to settling claims quickly and accurately.
If you do not have adequate insurance coverage, you may qualify for FEMA benefits if you are unable to pay for the repair or replacement of essential parts of your home or essential personal property.
For more information, check out this fact sheet from the Nebraska Department of Insurance.
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