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Protect Yourself Against Loss in Spring Storms
It is true that April showers bring May flowers. But spring storms can bring flooding and water damage to your home. The time to act to protect yourself is before the storms arrive.
The first step is to examine your insurance coverage and understand what your policy covers – and what it does not. Most homeowner’s policies cover sewer backup and mold remediation, to specified limits. But most do not cover damage from water that enters your house from outside sources – overflowing rivers, for example, but also water coming through your basement windows from a flooded yard. Those damages are covered only by flood insurance issued through the federal government. We at The Bensman Group can help you find a policy that fits your needs. We also can help you make sure that the limits of your policy are appropriate.
If you live in a flood-prone area, make sure you have a sump pump or similar system. Then test it before the rains come to make sure it is working, and get it repaired if necessary. Test your backup, so that your system continues to operate if you lose power. It also is a good idea to have dehumidifiers and large fans available in case you need to dry things out.
Appliances in your basement should be raised off the floor – for example, on wood platforms. If you store things in your basement, put those in waterproof containers and elevate them at least a few inches off the floor. If you have experienced basement flooding in the past, you might want to ask a contractor to examine the grading in your yard and make any changes necessary if poor grading is contributing to the problem.
Have a list of cleanup companies to call if needed. If you have flooding, it is likely that your neighbors also will, so you want to be at the top of the list for companies that handle cleanup. At The Bensman Group, we maintain a list of reputable companies, and we are happy to share that list with our clients. Just give us a call. Then put the names and phone numbers into your phone, so you will have them at hand if you need them.
Be safe. If flooding or storms threaten your house, get out. You don’t want to be stuck in your house because of flooded roads or trapped in a house damaged by downed trees and other flood debris. Listen to weather reports, and follow the advice of experts.
Finally, if your area experiences a lot of storm damage, you probably will hear from contractors who contact you after the storm and offer you a really good deal to fix your roof, repair or replace hail-damaged siding, removed downed trees, etc. In general, it is not a good idea to use contractors who come into an area after a storm. They probably will be gone as soon as the work is done, and you might not be able to reach them if you discover that the work was faulty. It usually is better to deal with local contractors who have a good reputation and are available if you have problems later on.
At Bensman, we are always happy to help you protect what matters most to you. If you have risk management or wealth management questions, contact us at 847-572-0828 or at firstname.lastname@example.org .