Tag Archives | flood damage

Coastal Areas to See a Rise in Cost of Home Insurance

The flood that washed away much of Laguna's Main Beach in December 2010

Do you live in Laguna Beach, or one of the other towns blasted by the deluge of rain we saw in December, 2010? Do you live in Tustin? Many don’t realize how often this area gets flooded.

A recent Los Angeles Times article mentioned how the cost of home insurance is expected to rise again this year, for the third year running.

According to the Insurance Information Institute, premiums are likely to rise 2-3% on average, with coastal areas seeing the largest increases. You may think that they are only referring to places like Florida and Louisiana, where hurricanes hit, but it’s actually all coastal areas. The damage to homes from rain and winter weather and the higher costs for the materials needed for repairs that have driven up prices for home insurance.

And although we don’t get hurricanes, thank goodness, we do get flash floods when it rains here in Southern California. Many homes and businesses in Laguna Beach were heavily damaged or completely destroyed right before Christmas last year. Many sadly found out that they weren’t covered under their homeowner’s insurance policy.

Two major insurance companies, Allstate and State Farm, saw their overall homeowners insurance clients’ premiums increase by over 7% in 2010, and Allstate’s Tom Wilson, the Chief Executive, was quoted as saying recently that “you should expect to see it go up” in 2011, too.

What should you do? Shop around, that’s for sure. And BMR Insurance can do this for you. As an independent agency, we aren’t locked in to one insurance company for our customers. That gives us more flexibility to find not only the best price for you, but the best coverage for your needs.

And remember, flood insurance is NOT usually covered in your homeowner’s insurance policy. Are you covered? Let us help you find out, and get you covered right away, BEFORE another rainy spell starts! We’ve had some rain already this week, and more is expected over the weekend. As always, a real live person will pick up the phone when you call BMR Insurance—personal and attentive customer service is what we pride ourselves on. Call us now for a free consultation and insurance quote: (714) 838-1911

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Has Your Home Insurance Left You Flooded?

Rains hit hard in Anaheim, causing flooding in the streets. Photo by Bruce Chambers, OC Register.

Unseasonal and heavy rains in Southern California over the past few days have left many homeowners and renters with significant water damage. Sadly, many of these people have found out that their homeowners or renters insurance does not cover for a flood, nor do they cover for sewer, drain or sump pump backups without adding a sublimit.

Whether you were one of the fortunate, covered and insured or one that experienced a “denied” claim for flood or backup, you should take the time to understand how these two important insurance coverages could protect your home and family before the rains are really supposed to hit California’s southland.

According to the website FloodSmart.gov, your home has a greater chance of being flooded than torched with fire. Yet it can be an ugly surprise to find out that your homeowner or renter’s insurance does not cover home or property damage from a flood—the only way you can be protected is to get a flood insurance policy from an insurance agent.

But you thought that flood insurance was only available to people with mortgages who live in high-risk flood areas? Think again. Actually, anyone can buy flood insurance, even if you only rent. Those in low-risk areas are eligible for flood coverage, according to FloodSmart.gov, and it can start as low as $119* annually for coverage for the building and contents. The average flood claim costs $21,000 (and that’s just one inch of water in 2,000 sq. ft.!), so you do the math. $119 a year to cover tens of thousands in repair, mold remediation and property replacement? The benefits of flood insurance are pretty clear.

Don’t think that flood coverage is a replacement for homeowners insurance, it’s more of an add-on designed to get a homeowner or renter back on their feet after tragedy strikes. Although California is short on basements, be warned that flood insurance is very limited on paying out for damages to basements, walkout basements and crawl spaces, or the property that is kept in them.

Another caveat: most flood insurance has a 30-day waiting period before it goes into effect. So don’t wait until the sky starts clouding up to call your insurance agent—call while the sky is clear and the ground is dry so that when the rain hits, you’ll be covered. Literally. For more information on flood insurance, call us here at BMR Insurance for a full explanation. For good ideas on flood prevention, visit the FEMA website.

Heavy rains, especially in an area unused to such downpours like Southern California, can cause flooding in sewers and drains. Ever looked at your toilet and realize that water can come IN through it from the sewer? No? Well it certainly can, and you can kiss your expensive carpet or hardwood flooring goodbye.

But you’re covered, right? Almost 70% of homeowners think that damage from a sewer, drain or sump-pump back up would be covered. And they’re wrong. Most homeowner and renters insurance doesn’t cover the damages for these type of events unless it’s been added to the policy as a sublimit or endorsement. Luckily for a low price, usually around $50 per year, you can add this coverage to your policy giving you between $2,500 and $50,000 worth of protection*.

When it comes to a potential of thousands of dollars in damages, it’s not smart to assume. Call BMR Insurance now at (714) 838-1911 to find out if you are covered. It’s a big enough surprise to find your living room furniture swimming in six inches of sewage; don’t let the fact that you’re not covered be the next surprise!

* These are estimates. To get a personalized quote with accurate figures for your property, please call BMR Insurance or check with your insurance agent.

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Understanding Your Homeowners’ Insurance: Part 1

Don’t wait until after an earthquake to find out if you’re covered or not!

By law, all homeowners or anyone who has a mortgage on a home need homeowners’ insurance. Proper homeowners’ insurance can provide necessary protection for your home, reimbursing you for any damages to your home or personal possessions.  But, most people don’t even look at their insurance policy after the initial purchase, and have no idea what their policy coverage entails until a freak accident happens, leaving them wondering if their insurance policy will cover  them.  Big mistake!  It is imperative that all homeowners understand their policy and know exactly what is covered and what is not, and to periodically review their policy to assess any changes that they might need to address.  BMR Insurance will help you cover the basics of homeowners’ insurance so that you will better understand your policy.

Know what your insurance policy covers: Typical homeowners’ insurance coverage includes damages caused by fire, water, storm (wind, lightning, etc), theft or vandalism.  Most people mistakenly assume that homeowners’ insurance will cover damages caused by earthquakes and flooding.  However, these two perils are not covered under a general homeowners’ insurance policy. If you live in an area prone to these types of natural disasters, consult your insurance provider to see if you will need to opt for an additional policy.  For example, in an area at risk for flooding, homeowners would have to purchase flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program.  Review your insurance policy with your agent and make sure you understand what your policy does and does not cover. Continue Reading →

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