Does My Home Insurance Cover a Flooded Basement?

Happy homeowner with coverage in the event of a flooded basement

Your home is a haven for you and your family. When floods happen, the last thing you want to hear is that your flooded basement isn’t covered. At such a time, safety and getting help are your priorities. 

What many homeowners do not know is that having a home insurance policy is crucial. On the other hand, even those with home insurance aren’t always aware if it covers flooding and to what extent they will be compensated in case of such an event.

To understand how insurance works and know if your policy covers flooding, our professionals at Vargas & Vargas Insurance are on standby to simplify the process for you. We listen, advise, and guide you in making an informed choice.

What Is Flood Insurance, and Do Insurers Provide a Flood Policy Cover?

Flood insurance is any policy that covers your home, electronics, and other important belongings from losses occasioned by flooding. Generally, it comes as a separate cover due to the high risk involved. But it may vary from company to company. 

New developments in the mortgage industry within Massachusetts require lenders to ask for flood insurance, and several insurers have developed appropriate packages for homeowners. These new developments point to a higher risk of flooding, and the lenders want to protect their investments. On the other hand, taking the cover as a homeowner puts you at ease if flooding happens.

Why Flood Insurance Is Necessary

Generally, home insurance covers you from any damage that may occur. The different policies have several aspects that detail what is covered and to what extent. Flood insurance is a specific home insurance cover that will cover you when flooding happens, including if you have a flooded basement.

To choose the ideal policy, it is a good practice to seek help. Work with a trusted agent who will help you go through the policies, terms, and conditions, among other things. This will help you determine if the insurer and their package fit you or if your home is covered in case of flooding. 

Parting Shot

Vargas & Vargas Insurance is one of the premier local independent insurance agencies. We work for our clients and not the insurance company.  We will customize your insurance coverage to your specific needs at the right price. Our team is here to answer all of your insurance questions, so contact us today.

Homeowner’s Guide to Lender-Required Flood Insurance in Massachusetts

couple looking out the window at the rain while having flood insurance in Massachusetts

Many residents in Massachusetts don’t realize that flood insurance can help protect them from financial devastation in cases of floods. Flooding can quickly cause over $100,000 worth of damage to your home. However, if you have flood insurance in Massachusetts, you can receive reimbursement for your losses minus your deductible amount.

If you’re wondering how flood insurance works or if it’s something you should consider for your home, keep reading.

How Flood Insurance Works

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and some private insurance companies issue flood insurance. Private insurance companies offer lower premiums as compared to government affiliates. These insurance policies are available for Massachusetts residents living in designated flood areas.

This insurance plan offers policies for losses sustained by floods in homes and businesses. Flood insurance policies typically have waiting periods before coverage takes effect. However, once you subscribe to their policies, you are assured compensation in cases of floods.

Why Do Lenders Require Flood Insurance?

One of the most significant risks you can take is buying a house in a flood-prone area. Because of this, many lenders require applicants to purchase a basic flood policy. They will also evaluate your property’s situation based on the history of flooding, how the structure stands, and the risks inherent in living in floodwaters.

What You Need to Know About Flood Insurance in Massachusetts

If your home is in a high-risk area, purchasing a policy could pay off. You may reduce or eliminate your premium by switching to a cheaper policy with lower premiums. In addition, insurance provides a mechanism for immediate financial help if flooding destroys your family’s home.

It prevents you from being held responsible for paying more than necessary to repair or replace your damaged property. Get the best quote on flood insurance from Vargas and Vargas Insurance. Even if you are not in a federal flood zone, you can purchase flood insurance at a better-priced premium. This will ensure that you don’t receive charges for more than what it costs to maintain the policy.

Final Thoughts on Flood Insurance in Massachusetts

The U.S. government has placed a flood zone designation on over two million homes in the country. This also applies in states like Massachusetts. If you’re looking for flood insurance, Vargas & Vargas Insurance is the right place. We will help you find the best policy for your needs and answer all your questions about the coverage. Contact us today.

Risks of Flood Damage

Floods can occur anywhere, affecting properties in Dorchester, MA. Common causes of floods include flash floods and seasonal storms, which can occur anywhere in the world at any time. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), floods are commonly involved in 90 percent of all natural disasters in the country. 

Continue reading to learn about the risks of flooding. Then, for more information about flooding and how to protect your property, call the experts at Vargas & Vargas Insurance today. 

Flood Risk Information

When moving to a new area, learn as much as possible about flood risks in the immediate area. Your mortgage lender, local officials, and an insurance agent may have information about the area’s vulnerability to flooding. Additionally, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) can provide information about local flood risks. 

Lack of Coverage

Not all homeowners insurance policies cover all types of flood damage. Therefore, additional flood insurance policies must be purchased to ensure coverage in the event of a flood associated with a natural disaster or weather event. Not having enough coverage can leave you paying for the repair and replacement costs out of pocket. 

Buying Flood Insurance

Purchasing flood insurance is easy and can be purchased directly from an insurance professional. However, there is a 30-day waiting period before the flood insurance policy takes effect. Because of the waiting period, if you live in an area prone to flooding, do not wait to purchase your policy. 

No Flood Insurance Coverage

If there is a flood, and you do not have flood insurance coverage, your assets are not fully protected against damages and loss. In addition, not having insurance coverage could lead to paying hefty bills associated with repairing and replacing property and personal items. 

Floods can strike at any time, anywhere. Those in Dorchester, MA should not hesitate to ensure they are covered in the event of a flood. Call Vargas & Vargas Insurance today to discuss flood insurance options and get yourself covered today. 

What to Do During and After a Hurricane

woman looking through the window at home as a hurricane approaches

Hurricanes can pose a serious hazard for people and properties in the Boston, Massachusetts, area. Floods, heavy winds, and other severe weather factors can cause damage quickly. Read this short guide about how to stay safe and protect your property both during and after the next hurricane.

What to Do During a Hurricane

During a hurricane, it is important to avoid going outdoors or driving because the winds and flooding can be dangerous. If you must be out in the storm, then it is important to:

  • NOT drive around road barriers
  • NOT walk through flowing water
  • NOT drive through flooded roads

Also, continue monitoring the media for any emergency information. Look for credible emergency information shared by the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA) and other government agencies. Also, you need to follow instructions given by the public safety officials.  

If directed to evacuate, you need to do so immediately, and take only your essential items and any pets, if possible. Given that conditions change fast, you need to be ready for evacuation to different places as directed and if necessary.

What to Do After a Hurricane Has Passed

After a hurricane has passed and you had evacuated, return home if authorities say it is safe to do so. Continue to listen to news reports to know if the water supply is safe. Before local authorities declare your water supply safe, you need to boil the water before drinking or using it for food preparation.

As soon as it’s safely possible, check your home for any signs of damage. While checking your home, you need to:

  • Repair leaching systems and damaged septic tanks to minimize potential health risks.
  • Hire a qualified electrician to assess any damages to electrical systems.
  • Have a professional check your wells for contamination.
  • If you suspect there is a gas leak, go outdoors immediately and contact a licensed professional to check it out.
  • In case your home or property is damaged, document the damage by taking videos and photos and contact your insurance company.

Also, report any power outages to your utility company. If you’re waiting for the power to return, be careful to only use grills and generators outside because their fumes contain dangerous gases.

Try to avoid entering floodwaters in and around your property. Seek the services of a professional cleaning and repair company to clean and disinfect your home. Check on neighbors and friends, especially the elderly and those who live alone.

At Vargas & Vargas Insurance, we’re here to help you protect your home, property, and family. Call us today to learn more about hurricane-related coverage, flood insurance, and safety tips to help you get through the storm.

Let’s Talk About Flood Insurance

For Massachusetts property owners looking to protect their investment, Dorchester, Massachusetts-based Vargas & Vargas Insurance is standing by to have a conversation with you about your flood protection insurance options.  It is easy to avoid thinking about such unpleasantries with the thought that, “those things happen to other people,” but the reality is that that is not necessarily true.  If you have questions about the state of your flood protection, our team of dedicated and licensed insurance agents are looking forward to having a conversation about your needs.

Flood Insurance Requirements in Massachusetts

Homebuyers searching for mortgage loans might be surprised to find that their lenders mandate that they purchase flood insurance as a condition of their loan acceptance.  Indeed, as an example, Dorchester, MA residents risk flooding from both coastal flooding and rising waters from the Neponset River, so lenders will likely call for a flood policy in addition to your regular home insurance requirements.  Working with one of our agents, we can write a policy that will not only keep your lenders at bay but will also protect you when Mother Nature begins stirring during storm season.  Let’s talk about flood insurance and how it can give you and your family peace of mind should the worst occur.

Contact Our Team at Vargas & Vargas Insurance

If you need to look at the full range of protection afforded by having flood coverage from Vargas & Vargas Insurance, we welcome you to contact us at our Dorchester, MA for a conversation about how to best protect your property.  Flooding can be a catastrophic event, but it does not have to wash your home down the street to devastate your life.  Indeed, from moldy carpets to damaged furnishings in the aftermath of a flood-related incident.     

Why You Should Buy Flood Insurance for Your Massachusetts Home

Floods happen far more often than most people realize. In the United States, flooding is a factor in 90 percent of natural disasters. Unfortunately, home insurance policies do not cover flood-related losses. That’s a fact that some homeowners only find out after they’ve experienced property loss from a flood. At Vargas & Vargas Insurance, we’re here to help you protect your property before a flood.

mother and child gardening in the backyard of their Massachusetts home

Why You Need Flood Insurance in Massachusetts

Although properties on the Massachusetts coast have a higher flood risk, flood insurance isn’t just for people who live there. No matter what part of Massachusetts your house or condo is located in, you need flood insurance.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has a popular adage that goes: “Where it can rain, it can flood.” It’s another way of saying every home is at risk of flooding. While your home may have a lower or higher risk than other properties, a home with no risk of a flood doesn’t exist.

In fact, flood insurance claims for properties in low-risk areas are commonplace. FEMA reports more than 1 in 5 NFIP claims are associated with properties that aren’t in the high-risk zones. 

If your home is in a high-risk flood plain, you need to know what that risk level means in practical terms. According to the Massachusetts Division of Insurance, that risk level means you have a 26 percent risk of a flood damaging your property over the course of a 30-year mortgage.

Consider the town of Northampton in western Massachusetts. Many years ago, mid-March warming caused winter’s ice and snow to melt so rapidly that the Connecticut River overflowed to the extent that Northampton flooded. Today, Northampton officials are concerned that climate change could cause the town to flood again. Town officials are currently working diligently to prevent a repeat of that historic flooding. Homeowners should protect themselves for the risk of a flood in any season.

How to Get Flood Insurance

If climate change or another weather event brings flooding to your community, it’s important to be prepared. Flood insurance policies typically take 30 days to go into effect. Therefore, now is a good time to contact your local independent insurance agent to discuss your options for flood insurance coverage.  

Does Flood Insurance Only Cover Natural Floods

Flood insurance is something that most people never need and that most people cannot benefit from. That being said, you should take the time to figure out if you need flood insurance at all or if it is a coverage that you can do without. For those in the Dorchester, MA area, the agents with Vargas & Vargas Insurance can help you find out if you need a flood policy or not.

Flood insurance works to cover flood damage from natural flooding only. This means that it covers flooding that is caused by some outside water source. Flooding from broken pipes is covered in your normal home insurance policy. Flood insurance is something that is not required and that is not going to be beneficial for all users. Flood insurance is something that is going to work well for your home if you live in an area where you are near water, in an area where you are near flood planes or where flooding is possible.

Flood insurance does not cover flooding that is associated with things like holes in the roof from storms, burst pipes, or other things that would otherwise be covered on your normal home policy. When buying flood coverage, it is always best to take the time to really look at what the coverage is all about and see if you can truly benefit from it. For the most part, you are not going to need to use a flood policy and your home policy is going to cover some flooding to a certain extent. For those in the Dorchester, MA area, the agents with Vargas & Vargas Insurance can help you determine if you need a flood insurance policy or if your home policy is sufficient for your needs.  

The Two Most Effective Steps When You File A Claim

Your Insurance is in place to protect you from risks that may affect your wealth and your health.  When an incident occurs, you’ll want to file your claim in order to receive payment for your loss as quickly and efficiently as possible. 

Luckily, there are two easy steps to ensure a smooth claim process.  Best news of all, you can manage these two easy suggestions in a short time, maybe even while you’re binge watching whatever is the latest and greatest on Netflix. 

#1: Paperwork

Gather your insurance policies to an easy-to-find (and easy to remember) location.  You might want to consider scanning your policies to PDFs and saving those on your Smartphone, home computer, or Cloud Storage. 

If you’re saving paper or scanning to PDF, be mindful with how you label each document.  Using the Insurance Carrier’s name along with the purpose of the policy is helpful.  For example, “ABC INSURANCE Homeowners Policy.” 

Use different color post-it notes strategically placed on each paper document to easily flip through multiple policies. If you’re storing PDFs on a computer or Cloud drive, create different folders for each policy and be sure to “rename” each PDF for easy search.  In a pinch you’ll want to quickly locate “XYZ MUTUAL INSURANCE 2017 PONTIAC.”

#2: Photos

Smartphones make it easy to snap photos of your belongings around your home or to grab a quick photo of damage to your vehicle after an incident. Be sure to have the date stamp feature enabled.

In your home, while running your vacuum around or changing the bed linens, snap photos in each room where you have valuable belongings.  Take a photo of the entire room, too, with different angles. Capture clear, up close photos of individual valuables. 

Upload your photos and save to your home computer or Cloud Storage. Or both.

We’d be honored to spend a few minutes with you to discuss how to organize your files, review to see if your valuables are insured properly or to prepare the step-by-step of the “what to do” and “what not to do” after a claim.

When you’re organized in advance, your claim can be processed efficiently. This gets you paid faster in order to begin the repairs.

You can call us now for a free educational moment or to review your existing insurance policies to be sure you’re covered for every eventuality. Call now at 617-298-0655 or text us at 617-409-0329. Click here to Visit our Contact Us page.

4 Things Your Homeowner Policy Should Include

Shopping for Homeowners Insurance is often rushed and daunting.  And exhausting.  In the flurry of activity leading up to a Home purchase closing, the harried home buyer may speed through the insurance process with the goal of quick and cheap. Let’s slow down ever so slightly! 

Take your time and ask your insurance agent if the quoted policy includes the following 4 vital coverage parts. Your standard Homeowners Insurance Policy covers you in the event of damage from fire, lightning, hail, and explosions.   However, these 4 items are not automatically included.

#1: Higher Liability Coverage.  The dollar value of an insurance payout in the event of a claim is often the number one most overlooked and undervalued part of a quickly-quoted insurance policy.  We like to explain liability coverage to our customers like this: imagine if someone fell on the pathway leading up to your front door.  Imagine that person suffered a serious injury, such as broken bones.  Now imagine that person, whether friend, family, or otherwise, hires an aggressive Personal Injury Attorney to receive compensation for pain, suffering, and medical bills.   Do you think that $300,000 liability coverage is sufficient payout in such a dire event to protect your other cash assets (your bank accounts, your retirement accounts, your children’s college fund)?   Whether it is or is not sufficient, do you want to gamble your wealth away with insufficient liability coverage?   Consider increasing your Liability Coverage to at least $1,000,000.

#2: Storm Damage.  Severe weather over the past dozen years or so has cost Homeowners considerable sums of money.  These Homeowners lived in contentment with their homeowners insurance policies thinking they were covered for all kinds of occurrences.  When the severe weather hit—storm surges from oceans, rivers, and creeks; high-wind conditions; flooding inside basements from ground water saturation due to heavier than normal rains—too many Homeowners discovered to their dismay the lack of coverage for damage sustained due to severe weather.   Discuss flood insurance with your insurance agent.

#3: Power Outages.  Should your home lose power for a sustained period of time you could experience loss of foodstuffs due to your refrigerator not functioning.  Adding this extra coverage to your policy protects your money…and your food.

#4: Additional Coverage for “earth-movement”.  Have an in-ground pool in your backyard? If you live in an area prone to earthquakes, landslides, or sinkholes, you’ll want to add additional coverage to your standard policy to protect your assets and your home against these risks.

We’re happy to spend the time necessary to educate you on the best comprehensive insurance for your Home.  Call us today!

Call now at 617-298-0655 or text us at 617-409-0329. Click here to Visit our Contact Us page.

Does Flood Insurance Cover the Cost of Associated Medical Bills?

Flood insurance is something that is very important if you live in areas where flooding is frequent, and it does cover a wide range of things. Flood insurance covers more than you might imagine and if you take out special policies that cover extra, you can have a policy that is fairly comprehensive. For those that live in the Dorchester, MA area, the agents with Vargas & Vargas Insurance can help you to find the policy that you need.

Flood insurance as a general rule covers things like the repair of homes that have been damaged, mold mitigation; sometimes it covers the cost of a place to stay while your home is repaired and more. In some cases, you can get an illness or medical bills associated with flooding covered but, in most cases, your health insurance is going to cover any medical bills. You can take out particular flood policies that have medical coverage built in, but for the most part, it is going to be best to use your health insurance to cover your costs.

For those that do need to use flood insurance to cover medical costs, you need to make sure your policy covers medical expenses. Most flood policies are only going to include the replacement and repair of items and the home. You need to take the time to really look at your coverage and you need to make sure you understand the ins and outs of flood insurance. For those that live in the Dorchester, MA area, the agents with Vargas & Vargas Insurance can help you to find the perfect flood policy so that you can get the coverage you need to keep your home safe no matter what disaster may befall it.