Rosie on the House: Assessing hurricane damage and insurance

Rosie Romero Special to the Arizona Daily Star

QPoint: My house is flooded. What should I do?

Answer: Start by inspecting your home and determining if it is safe to live there. If it’s safe and all water is away from outlets or exposed wires, and your roof is stable, do this by scheduling a repair contractor.

Call your homeowner’s insurance agent right away.

Remove excess water by wiping and wiping.

Wipe excess water from wooden furniture after removing lamps and tableware.

Remove and strengthen damp upholstery and cushions.

Place aluminum or wooden strips between the legs of the furniture and the damp carpeting.

Turn on the air conditioner to keep things dry in the summer.

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Remove colored rugs from wet carpet to prevent dye transfer.

Remove the artwork to a safe, dry place.

Collect loose material from the floor.

Q: My house was flooded due to a landslide. Will my whole house plan cover this?

A: According to Phocus Insurance Companies, a Rosie on the House Certified Partner, your home insurance may have a water damage coverage. Many homeowners think that all water-related damage is covered. It is not. Sudden and unexpected water damage, such as a broken washing machine, may be covered by your insurance. If the water is damaged due to negligence or catastrophic events such as flooding, you will find yourself running the bill.

A flood is defined as a general and temporary condition of partial or total inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land or two or more properties (one of which is your property) due to surface water flooding or tides, unusual and rapid accumulations, or overflows of surface water from any source or sediment.

If the flood water comes from the roof, you are covered. If the floodwater is from surface water, you are not, unless you have a floodplain.

Q: Will my insurance cover damage to my roof?

A: When storms and rain, wind or snow damage your roof, the insurance company may pay. But don’t wait for an insurance adjuster to visit and decide. Cover the roof with plastic for a while and mop up the water in the house. If the roof is falling from the roof, place several buckets on the floor and drill holes in the roof to drain the water. This can prevent further damage to your home that may not be covered.

Q: Will my homeowner’s insurance cover the removal of fallen trees?

A: When a tree falls in a storm, the insurance will not pay to remove the tree if it does not damage the structure. The insurance will not cover the replanting of gardens, bushes, flowers or other trees that are disturbed or damaged.

Q: How can I get compensation from the insurance company for flood damage?

A: Assuming you have a flood policy, you will be paid based on the Actual Cash Value or Replacement Cost Value.

Actual Cash Value (ACV) is the value of the asset at the time of loss, depreciation included. Items that are inspected or replaced at ACV include electrical appliances or carpets, with carpets losing 10% to 14% of their value per year.

Replacement Cost Value (RCV) is the replacement cost of the item or part of your home, excluding depreciation. Three conditions must be met before you have a product fall under the RCV guidelines.

The home must be single family.

The home must be your primary address at the time of the loss (meaning you lived there at least 80% of the year.)

Your mortgage is at least 80% of the replacement value of the home or the full value of the property under the National Insurance Program.

Standard flood insurance, known as single peril (flood), pays for direct damage to the insured property up to the replacement cost, the actual cost of the damage, or the limit of liability, whichever is lower. Flood insurance is also not necessary. Additionally, flood insurance is not considered a guaranteed replacement policy.

It is important to know the risk of your home. Meet with the right insurance agent and get your coverage before you need it. Many people think they know what they are studying, but find out they are wrong when they look for it. Make sure your home is sealed against water damage at all times. Don’t wait to find out during an emergency.

A list of coverages for your property insurance versus flood insurance is available at floodsmart.gov.

Regardless of the type of policy you have, call your insurance provider as soon as damage occurs. Let the professionals find this place as soon as possible. There are specific and important steps that need to be followed and soon, it will be good for everyone, especially you.

An Arizona home builder and remodeling expert since 1988, Rosie Romero is the host of Saturday morning Rosie at the House radio, heard locally from 10 to 11 a.m. on KNST (790-AM) in Tucson and from 8 to 11 a.m. on KGVY (1080-AM) and (100.7-FM) in Green Valley.