Do you have flood insurance? - WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

Do you have flood insurance?

By Karen Cohilas - bio | email

August 20, 2008

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - One of the best ways to prepare for a storm like Fay is to make sure your insurance coverage is up to date. The biggest threat we may face from this storm system is flooding, and that's not covered under your standard homeowners insurance.

Dr. Charles Harden built his two story home on a creek in Radium Springs in 1964. 30 years later, it was finally paid for.  He said, "I got the house paid off and everything. I said that's just wasting $700 a year, you know? So that was a bad mistake."

The mistake? Canceling his flood insurance just nine months before the flood of 1994. "It was bad. It got up to five feet in the bottom floor. It was a mess, nasty water."

And he found himself in a messy cleanup. But Dr. Harden wasn't alone.

"I did not have flood insurance. I'm an insurance agent and I'm telling you that," said Lonnie Mathis who sells insurance for Allstate. "Most people assume that their homeowners covers that and it doesn't."

If you are in a flood zone like Dr. Harden, you'll pay a lot each year for your flood insurance premium.

Coverage on a $200,000 home, with $80,000 worth of contents, you'll pay almost $2,000 a year. For that same home, in a preferred area, out of a flood zone, you would pay a little more than $300.

Mathis said, "I have flood insurance now. You only have to get bit one time, you know."

But even with insurance, it's not something anyone wants to repeat.  Dr. Harden said, "I don't want to do that again, so y'all make sure it doesn't hit this time." And hopefully it won't.

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