Spring has sprung, and with it comes longer days, warmer weather and the need for sunglasses on your evening commute. After the late season snowstorms that plagued the Midwest and mountain states, even heavy rain is welcome. But as encouraging as it is to see the ground again after months of snow cover, such precipitation cannot just evaporate (well, not all of it.) The melting snow has to go somewhere and sometimes, that means flooding.
Stay ahead of the curve and take note of these helpful tips on how you and your policyholders can minimize the damage from floods.
Many homeowners mistakenly believe flooding is covered by a typical homeowners insurance policy. Flood insurance has to be purchased separately, and the price and extent of such coverage will vary greatly depending on the flooding patterns and history of each policyholder’s residential area.
Ready your home
Caution your policyholders to ensure their furnace, water heater, and electric panel are elevated if they live in a high flood-risk area. Raising these appliances off the ground could save thousands of dollars in replacements and repairs if a flood occurs. Also, if possible, build barriers to stop floodwaters from coming into your house (think sandbags) and seal basement walls with waterproofing compounds. As always, It’s a good idea to have a list of belongings too as pre-loss documentation. Know what you have so you’ll know what you lost.
During the flood
Ready.gov offers some solid advice concerning what actions to take during flooding: “Secure your home. If you have time, bring in outdoor furniture. Move essential items to an upper floor. Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances. Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.”
It’s easy to see much of the damage that is done by flooding—belongings carried away, waterlogged, or missing, and water damage everywhere – but it also has the capability to affect the safety of your home. It’s possible that buildings could be weakened or even suffer collapse in the wake of a flood. It’s not a good idea to enter a residence after flooding until it’s been deemed safe by the authorities.
Last but not least
So let’s say your policyholder customers know that they’re covered by flood insurance, take all precautions listed above, and still have a major loss — such as a seriously flooded basement with hundreds, even thousands of belongings damaged? It would take you days (or weeks) to work with the insured and inventory all the homeowner lost. But did you know Enservio offers a service for times such as these?
ListAssist is a real-time transcription service in which Enservio professionals work directly with your insured to reconstruct their inventory list, frequently having them visualize each room and its contents. Your turnaround time on creating the inventory could be cut down to just hours, with an electronic contents list instantly at your disposal. Many adjusters use ListAssist on demand during peak times or to assist with particularly complex claims and offload the legwork to Enservio. To request further information on this great service, click here.