New Orleans flood cleanup companies know that flooding can cause massive amounts of damage to homes and businesses, particularly those in the “Hurricane Alley” more commonly known as the Gulf Coast region of the U.S. The water damage sustained from a hurricane or other severe weather events can take days, weeks or even months to fully repair, adding up quickly to hundreds of thousands of dollars in repair costs and lost goods.
Unfortunately, most homeowners don’t even realize the limitations of their homeowners’ insurance policy until after the damage is done. Odds are that unless you specifically requested it and are paying an additional premium, your policy does NOT cover flooding from outside sources. Even if you study your policy and decide to request flood coverage, you may still be denied based on whether or not your home meets certain conditions or if it is located in a flood zone.
Unfortunately for New Orleans flood cleanup companies, flood coverage is typically only available in areas where flooding is not likely to occur, and even when it is available, it always seems to be the most stripped-down, bare bones coverage there is, with a long list of stipulations, restrictions and limitations that will ultimately dictate the restoration process. The sad truth of the matter is that when it comes to your insurance coverage, you’re better off having a hot water heater explode in your attic, soaking every square foot of your home from the ceiling to the floor, than if the bottom two feet of your walls were to get wet from outside flooding. That might sound extreme, but perhaps this disparity in coverage exists because it is legally impossible to subrogate against Mother Nature, so flooding is always a loss for the insurer as well as the insured. Be that as it may, it’s important that every homeowner takes the time to study the exact specifications of their homeowners’ insurance policy, taking extra steps if needed to ensure that you won’t be left high and (figuratively) dry in the wake of a flood.
One important resource is the National Flood Insurance Program. Founded over 50 years ago, the NFIP was established by the federal government to provide assistance to homeowners in the event of a flood by filling in the coverage gap so commonly created by mainstream insurance outlets. This is a supplemental policy which can be added to your existing one if the community you live in is eligible. In order for an area to be approved for the NFIP offering, the community leaders must implement a floodplain management action plan in order to reduce the risk of flooding in the area. The NFIP has helped to make many communities more structurally sound and has provided coverage to over 5 million homes. The organization has paid out almost $40 billion in claims since 1978, with over 40% of that assistance going to Louisiana residents.
Some homeowners decide against paying the extra flood premium, thinking they can always rely on federal disaster relief efforts like FEMA to help them get through any property loss. However, there are a few problems with that way of thinking. First off, the area you live in must first be declared a disaster zone before federal relief aid is given, and by then you’re already on a long waiting list at the mercy of others who have absolutely nothing invested in your satisfaction as a client. With the recent change in weather patterns and cases of severe weather across the country, you can be sure that the list will only be getting longer as manpower and resources are stretched even tighter.