SW Louisiana has seen more record rain falls and flooding in the last two years than it has in numerous years before. Back in March we did a post about how important (and reasonable) flood insurance is when you’re located in a “preferred” zone.
In this article, we’ll talk about some things you should know (and do) if your home and/or auto are damaged by rising water.
Report/File Claim. First and foremost, you should put a call in to your insurance company. Even if you don’t have flood coverage on your home or comprehensive coverage on your automobile, contact your insurance company or agency. They are a wealth of knowledge and experience and are there to help you through a crisis such as this.
Document your damage. With today’s cell phones, it is easy to document your damages with pictures and/or videos. Taking photos of receipts for furniture, electronics, appliances, clothing, etc. is smart too. This is your best line of defense should a question arise as to the value of your personal property whether it is damaged by flood waters in your home or auto.
Wait for an Adjuster to Contact you. In some cases, once you’ve filed your claim (or reported the damages) to your insurance company, you will be asked to do nothing until an adjuster has come out. In other instances, however, this may take a while which it is why it is imperative that you let them know what happened and find out what you need to do to protect your home and/or vehicle from further damage. Mold is very hazardous and you should take the necessary steps to prevent it from taking root and growing. Calling someone to clean and dry out your floors and walls and/or remove wet, rotting carpet is one way to prevent this, but clear it with your insurance company or adjuster first.
These are a few things you should do especially in the instance of home flooding. Now let’s look at a couple of important steps you should – or shouldn’t – take if your vehicle is damaged by high/rising water…
Don’t be too quick to get rid of that vehicle. In the case of a “total loss,” the insurance company may have to retain your vehicle as salvage. A “Disclosure of Water Damage” will have to be issued for those vehicles that aren’t deemed a total loss and/or not retained and subsequently disposed of by the insurance company. For more information on this Louisiana law, read this information provided by the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles.
Be wary of cancelling your auto policy too soon. If you plan to replace your flood-damaged vehicle, be sure and check with your insurance company before cancelling your policy. You may be in danger of losing valuable discounts by terminating your existing policy and then having to purchase another one later on.
When possible, it is always safest and smartest to wait until your home and/or auto claim is completely processed before disposing of flood-damaged items. Check with your insurance company and/or local/state authorities to be sure you’re in compliance with all rules and regulations so that you are not in danger of having something unknown to you at the time, rear its ugly head and bite you sometime in the future.
If you have questions as to whether or not your policy with us covers flood damage, or if you’re looking to protect yourself from future floods, give us a call! 337-433-1683
Until next time take care and remember….When in doubt, talk it out (with your agent of course)
Tommy Curtis and Staff
Is an insurance agent with integrity and your best interest in mind. Call to speak directly to him.
Address: 509 7th Street
Lake Charles, LA 70601
Office Hours: M-F 9a - 5p (CST)