How an Insurance Inspection Helps Homeowners to Minimize the Risk of Flood Damage

How an Insurance Inspection Helps Homeowners to Minimize the Risk of Flood Damage
We are most certainly in the midst of hurricane season. It’s estimated that Hurricane Harvey will inflict as much as $30 billion in damages on homeowners. While the effects of Harvey are devastating, Hurricane Irma is projected to cost insurers up to $65 billion in claims.
A private homeowner’s insurance policy will typically cover wind damage and, in some cases, water damage related to storm surges. For nearly 50 years, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has been responsible for underwriting all other homeowners’ flood insurance coverage. However, this government funded program is facing financial uncertainty and may not be renewed in the future.

The biggest blow to homeowners from Harvey and Irma will be related to flooding. Surprisingly, in areas where flood insurance is recommended–or even obligatory–many homeowners have let their flood insurance premiums lapse or have failed to buy coverage in the first place. However, even homeowners that live outside of the 100-year floodplain can experience flood-related damage. With Harvey, the significant amount of rain that Houston received overwhelmed the local storm water drainage system, which caused severe flooding for many homeowners that never thought they would need flood insurance. With no flood insurance in place, the impact of flooding for these unsuspecting homeowners is devastating.

Insurers can add a lot of value to homeowners and minimize this devastation by taking the time to educate them about appropriate insurance coverage and ways to minimize risk around the property. Our team at Insurance Risk Services has more than 35 years of experience in partnering with insurance carriers to provide accurate underwriting support. One of the ways that we provide invaluable support to our partners is through an insurance inspection.

We typically get face time with insureds when we conduct an insurance inspection, and we use this as an opportunity to educate the homeowners about their existing coverage. More often than not, we also identify new ways to serve insureds in these conversations.

Considering the severe flooding related to Harvey and Irma, we make a point to explain to homeowners during an insurance inspection how flooding is or is not covered and share some solutions for how to reduce the risk of flooding internally.

Here are several ways that insureds can reduce the risk of flood damage at home:

Be Strategic About Water Heater Placement
The typical water heater has a useful life of 10 years. Once this time frame has expired, homeowners run the risk of having the water heater tank leak, which can cause catastrophic flood damage to the home.

To minimize flood damage, homeowners should consider placing the water heater tank in the garage or on a metal stand designed specifically for water heater tanks. Another solution is to eliminate the tank by investing in a tankless water heater.

Use The Correct Hoses For Washing Machines
Ruptured hoses for washing machines are one of the most common causes of water damage in homes. Often rubber hoses are the reason for washing machine related floods. Ideally, stainless steel braided hoses should be used as they’re more resistant to bursting.

Utilize A Water Risk Warning System
Generally, homeowners aren’t aware of the water inside the property until it’s too late. However, adding an alarm to your sump pump will alert you of the first signs of water in the home.

Please contact us at Insurance Risk Services for additional ways that an insurance inspection can be used to educate homeowners about their coverage and ways to bridge the gap.

We’re delighted to announce that Insurance Risk Services will rebrand to Davies in the near future.

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