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How flood insurance helps ensure the safety of your finances, your furnishings and your family

By: Chase Carlisle

Water. The liquid that covers about 70 percent of the earth’s surface can be both life-sustaining and utterly destructive. Floods damage more homes than any other natural disaster, resulting in more than $2 billion in property damage each year. You may not be able to deter an oncoming flood, but it is important that you know about the dangers associated with these devastating natural occurrences and how your personal insurance policy can cover you in the case of an emergency.

According to, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods in the last five years, which means you could be at risk whether you live near a body of water or not. Those who have a federally backed mortgage and live in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) are required to have some sort of flood insurance.

Just a couple of inches of floodwater can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damages. So while flood insurance is affordable, significant flood damage is not, which is why it’s imperative that individuals in high-risk areas purchase flood insurance, especially since damage caused by floods is not typically covered by homeowner’s insurance.

Along with the bloom of fresh wildflowers and the birth of a new generation of wildlife, the onset of the spring means the start of rainy season. And in a year that will see an uncharacteristically significant increase in rainfall due to El Niño, it’s vital you understand some ways to help reduce flood damage and the importance of a flood insurance program. Here are some preventative measures one should consider to avoid substantial flood damage.

The first precaution to take into consideration is protecting any critical electrical appliances. Things like washing machines and dryers, oil tanks, furnaces, exposed electrical wiring and especially water heaters should be raised on concrete blocks, or at the least anchored and protected by a floodwall. Storing irreplaceable family belongings such as pictures and important documents somewhere safe and out of reach from possible floodwater is another smart precautionary move.

Another effective strategy for mitigating the possible damage from a flood is to landscape your yard with plants that help resist soil erosion. Sometimes, even when one takes precautionary measures into account, floods can still threaten your property, which is why having a coverage plan in place is so imperative.

A flood insurance policy is calculated based on the value of your home minus the value of your land or property. Carlisle Insurance’s residential flood insurance policies cover up to $250,000 in property damage with the option to add an additional $100,000 in coverage for the contents in your home. If necessary, extended insurance is available for coverage above these limits.

When considering flood insurance, it is critical to take into account the 30-day waiting period in effect before the coverage policy takes place. Therefore, the optimal strategy to protect your home is to act now and invest in flood insurance as soon as possible. Do not wait until it is too late to make sure your finances, furnishings and family are protected before the flooding occurs.

For more information, visit Carlisle Insurance online at


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