A good festival can be the highlight of the warm weather seasons, but it still doesn’t come without challenges. Whether you’re camping or just attending for a day, the stamina test of sun combined with alcohol, fried food, and $10 water bottles can be a bit of damper, but it still beats the alternative of a downpour. Hoodies over carefully-crafted outfits and trudging through mud can be a bit of a buzzkill, but nothing beats the feeling of returning home to a shower, Netflix, and your bed. However, this sanctity can be violated by flooding to your home incurred while you were out.
While you may not be able to control the food poisoning from that taco truck taquito, there are proactive measures that can be taken against flash flooding. While the risks of some storms are known well in advance, other times, a simple rainstorm can take a turn for the worst in a matter of minutes. As a result, you may not be prepared to batten down the hatches and move your valuable property to higher ground. So, there’s the next best thing—flood insurance. Yes, flood coverage is a separate entity from your homeowners insurance, and thus must be purchased separately. Even if you don’t own a home in a historically flood-prone area, it may still be wise to consider purchasing flood coverage. FEMA maps, which dictate mandatory flood protection, are outdated, failing to take shifting weather patterns into account. Houston, for example, is largely untargeted by FEMA-backed flood zones, yet saw great devastation during Hurricane Harvey.
Like all forms of insurance, you hope that you can seek comfort in knowing that it’s there without having to put it to use. But, the reality is that flood insurance applies to an imminent threat that can strike right when you’re hoping to put your hair down and relax. Should you find yourself in a situation where you must put your flood policy to the test, bear in mind that documentation is crucial. Take photos of your home inside and out, focusing particularly on damage to floors, the water line next to a measuring device, and the serial numbers of damaged appliances or electronics. Spend some time going through your phone to see if you have any pre-storm photos of your home and clear space to document the cleanup and rebuilding processes. Finally, don’t forget to retain any and all receipts, bank statements, estimates, or invoices documenting related out-of-pocket expenses. These costs can range from temporary lodging to new cabinets.
When it comes to the adjusting process, flood claims are similar to their homeowners counterparts. A representative from your insurance company will come to your home and conduct an assessment. If this report suggests that your home’s structural integrity is in question, an engineer may also be sent out to conduct an analysis. Of course, it plays in your insurance company’s favor to minimize and expedite your claim. While the latter may sound appealing, ensuring sufficient compensation for your loss is going to take patience. Because flood insurance is often Federally-backed—even if your plan is disseminated by a private company—the process is slowed. If you’ve found that your insurance check cannot be stretched to cover all expenses, a lawyer can compile your documentation and conduct an independent investigation until you are amply compensated.
There are many aspects of festival season that are worth the wait. Water on a hot day or that band you’ve been waiting to hear since high school definitely top the list, but don’t overlook receipt of adequate funds for flooding relief.