Do you have flood insurance? Time to find out
After Superstorm Sandy destroyed homes on the East Coast this week, we wondered, what does your home owners insurance policy really cover?
"Traditionally home owners policies cover things like fire, wind, hail, lightning, these kinds of things, not flood insurance," said Eugene insurance agent Jason Stefely.
He said many people don't realize that if your home floods, your not covered under a basic homeowners policy.
"Some mortgage companies will mandate flood insurance for homes that are in high risk areas," he said. "For a lot of Eugene, it's not required so it's an elective policy that you have to buy in addition to your homeowners policy."
According to Stefely, the average cost of flood insurance is around $400 with a typical deductible of $1,000.
"But the coverage limits are lower, you can only have $250,000 of coverage on your flood policy for your structure and another $100,000 for your personal items."
Many areas around Eugene, especially near the Willamette and McKenzie rivers, are in higher risk flood plains.
So how do you know if your home is in a flood plain? You can head to websites like floodsmart.gov to look up whether your home is in a high risk area.
And if you do decide to buy flood insurance, Stefely said keep this in mind. "You can't buy it when the flood is imminent because there's a 30-day wait, so you need to buy it in advance."
And another important tip:
"If you can catalog what you have in your home, that's the best thing to do," he said. "Take a video of your home, and it will help us if you have a loss, to recreate what you actually had."