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Don't Wait for the Flood

Selena Maranjian
September 4, 2007

Here's a bit of insurance trivia for you: Nearly 25% of all claims the National Flood Insurance Program pays out are for policies in low- to moderate-risk areas. This statistic should serve as a reminder that even if you don't have a beachfront home, or a lovely cottage on a lake, or even a trailer down by the river, you might still want to make sure you've got sufficient protection against floods.

If you're assuming that your home insurance policy covers flooding, you're probably wrong. Most such policies don't. In fact, grab a copy of your policy. I'll wait. You might be surprised by what's not covered when you sit down to read it. I found out that my own policy didn't protect me against earthquake damage, so I opted to pay a little extra for that.

Here's another thing that might surprise you: If you're watching a TV reporter standing in a rain slicker, describing a hurricane that's pounding the shore a few states away from you, it's too late to buy flood insurance to protect yourself from that storm. Flood insurance policies typically take a month or so to kick in.

Here are some good-to-know tips on the topic.