Know what flood insurance covers
courtesy Paul Sprela “Don’t assume that your flood insurance covers everything,” says Paul Sprela, of the insurance group JIl Agency, in Long Beach, New York. In 2012, Sprela himself was affected by Hurricane Sandy. Sprela, whose company specializes in selling flood insurance, had his business and his home flooded. “Make sure that you have insurance that covers the contents as well.” Flood insurance typically covers structural damage, yet the rising waters do extensive damage to furniture, books, and electronics. Sprela also advises his clients not to panic, because he rushed and paid out-of-pocket for the repairs on his home. “I should have waited for the government grants I was entitled to,” he says.
Take photos, keep receipts
courtesy Jane Bianchi
In prepping for Hurricane Irma, Jane Bianchi, of Tampa, Florida, and her husband were diligent in photographing their belongings and using bags of mulch to stave off flooding. “We also played it safe and flew out,” she says. “We didn’t want to be stuck on the highway and run out of gas with a toddler.” However, Bianchi was worried about a tree near her pool. “I should have chopped it down before the storm and learned how to drain my pool the right way,” she says. Although she didn’t have a lot of damage, the tree did come down on the pool, forcing her to replace the drain. Make sure you don’t fall for these common scams in the wake of a natural disaster.