Consumer Reports: Flood Insurance - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Consumer Reports: Flood Insurance

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Be aware even with contents coverage you will only get the value of your belongings when the flood hits, not what it will cost to buy everything new. Be aware even with contents coverage you will only get the value of your belongings when the flood hits, not what it will cost to buy everything new.

(WMC-TV) - A flood in your home can ruin everything. So should you have insurance for that? Action News 5's Chief Consumer Investigator Andy Wise is testing the waters of flood insurance.

"There was an L-shaped, nice white leather couch here. Every piece of furniture had to be removed from the house because of the risk of mold. It was heartbreaking. It was heartbreaking," said Charlie Farris, whose home was flooded.

Charles Farris' waterfront home took in more than two feet of water in Superstorm Sandy last year. His insurance came nowhere near covering the cost of replacing everything he lost.

Consumer Reports Money Adviser, Tobie Stranger, says there are many misconceptions about flood damage and insurance.

"Homeowners insurance doesn't cover flood damage for either your home or your belongings. For that you need flood insurance. And we recommend coverage both for your home and its contents," said Stranger.

Be aware even with contents coverage you will only get the value of your belongings when the flood hits, not what it will cost to buy everything new.

"If you're a homeowner, getting enough coverage for the structure itself is also really important," said Stranger. "Get as much coverage as you can."

The website Floodsmart.gov can help you determine the amount of available coverage and the estimated cost. Most residential flood insurance comes through the Federal Emergency Management Agency, so the terms and costs are standard.

Money adviser, Tobie Stranger, says one way to reduce flood insurance premiums is to raise your deductibles. Another tip is to check to see if you can pay a lower premium if you locate your central air conditioning unit and other home systems above the flood line.

"Just because you don't live near a body of water doesn't mean you don't need flood insurance. Heavy rains could cause flooding. In fact, one in five flood claims comes from an area that's not considered high risk," warned Stranger.

Charles Farris regrets not having adequate flood coverage. It is a mistake that is costing him plenty out of pocket.

"To bring it back the way it was, I think I'm looking at $80,000 including contents ," he said.

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