Tips for Putting Together a Family Emergency Plan

Like having a family plan for emergencies, everyone should have an insurance plan for emergencies as well. First Gate can help you safeguard your client’s property against hurricanes, flooding and other disasters, no matter where they live.

Make a Plan

The best time to make a family plan is before an emergency, so here are some ideas to help you get started.

How will family members get emergency alerts? If everyone has a cell phone, or access to radio and TV, they can receive emergency alerts from the National Weather Service.
How will your family get to safe locations? Ensure everyone has access to transportation, whether by car, bicycle or other means. Make sure everyone knows where to go in each type of emergency, because safety from a flood may mean a different location than shelter from a hurricane.

How will everyone get in touch? If cell phones, internet or phone lines are inoperable, designate a place for a message board. Review the plan as a family occasionally so everyone remembers where to go and what to do.

After the Crisis

Don’t let your clients get caught unaware in emergency situations. Recovery begins with property insurance. When the danger has passed, First Gate will be there to help them rebuild.

Know What’s Covered by Your Flood Insurance Policy

Don’t simply sign up for flood insurance in Trenton NJ and tuck it away until the tide starts to rise. Know what is and what isn’t covered by your policy in order that you know what kind of protection you’re getting and if you need to take out a special policy to fill in the gaps. So just what is commonly protected under your flood insurance?

Personal Contents

Examples of protected personal contents include electronic equipment, window air conditioners, washers/dryers, freezers and the food in them, and carpets that aren’t included in your homeowners policy.

Building Property

Your flood policy covers your home as well as its foundation, plumbing and electrical systems, refrigerators, ovens, your detached garage and the HVAC system. You’ll also be pleased to know your insurance also takes care of any debris removal you need after the flood waters have subsided.

Basements

The most important thing to bear in mind with flood insurance and basements is that your policy has limits when it comes to areas underneath the lowest elevated floor. Besides basements, other areas with limited coverage include crawlspaces beneath an elevated property and “walkout basements. Be sure you talk with your agent about additional coverage for areas underneath your home’s lowest elevated floor.

Sit down with your insurance agent to discuss your flood insurance policy as well as any other policies you have to make sure you’re ready for the flood of contingencies that can befall you and your property.

Should You Carry Flood Insurance?

In the wake of devastation left by storms such as Hurricane Sandy, many homeowners wonder whether they should carry insurance for flooding. Although homeowners insurance protects your home against many perils, most specifically exclude weather-related flood coverage.

 

Determining Your Risk

 

Your residence will be assigned a risk rating based on published flood maps. If you are in a high-risk zone, your mortgage company will probably require you to carry flood insurance. If you are in a low risk or moderate risk zone, this may be more of an optional coverage for you. However, considering that your home is most probably your biggest asset, you may wish to give strong consideration to this coverage. Again, using Superstorm Sandy as an example, many people lost their homes entirely because they were either uninsured or did not have enough flood insurance to rebuild.

 

Types of Flood Insurance Available

 

  1. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
  2. Private insurance

 

The NFIP was created by an act of Congress in 1968 to provide homeowners and renters with set rates for flood insurance. These rates are based on several factors including the type of construction of the dwelling and the risk zone where it is located. If your community participates in this program, you are eligible for the insurance. The program is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency.

 

If the NFIP program is not available in your area, you will need to turn to the private insurance market.

 

The decision of whether or not to carry insurance for flooding is based on several factors such as risk and your mortgage lender’s requirements. Consult with an insurance agent to help determine the best coverage for your needs.

Flood Insurance Information for New Jersey Residents

You love living in New Jersey with all the beauty and diversity if offers. Despite all the beauty and charm of the Garden State, flooding from hurricanes and tropical storms are always a threat. Fortunately, there is a simple way to prevent significant financial loss from a flood: purchase flood insurance in NJ.

 

Here is some basic information to help you understand your flood insurance options:

 

Various Plans

 

As with all insurance policies, there are various flood insurance plans available. For example, the Federal Government passed the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) back in 1968. President Obama recently passed a new law in 2014 that affects this program. Talk with an insurance agent to get the specific details on this plan.

 

In addition to the NFIP, private insurers offer other flood insurance programs. Many insurers have excess flood insurance for purchase that enables you to cover additional flood damage expenses.

 

Coverage Amounts

 

When discussing available plans with an insurance agent, be sure to ask about specific coverage amounts. Some plans only cover flood damage up to a certain amount. Once you know how much each plan covers, you can determine which policies will offer the best financial protection for your needs.

 

Talk with an insurance agent to determine what plans and coverage amounts are best for your situation. By understanding your options, you will be better prepared to purchase the right flood insurance in NJ.