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All About FLOOD INSURANCE in Baton Rouge, LA

by Pat Wattam

I spoke with my insurance agent, Andy Redpath at Baton Rouge Insurance Agency, and asked him what were some of the misconceptions people have about flood insurance.  I LOVED his response - these are the actual statements people have made to him.  I do believe this will clear up some of the confusion on when to buy and who should buy flood insurance.  I am adding my two cents in RED to what Andy has provided.  This is from my experience as a REALTOR and an investor who's rental property flooded during the GREAT FLOOD of 2016.

10 Misconceptions About Flood Insurance

 

1)    Buy it today because it’s raining. (Other than a mortgage closing when coverage is mandated, there is 30 day waiting period on new policies).  SO BUY IT TODAY anyway in case it rains again next month (this is Louisiana after all!)

2)    Buy it today because there is a storm in the Gulf and the rates are going up. (Rates are rates until the NFIP changes them, which they do periodically)  And if there is a named storm in the gulf you can't buy regular homeowners insurance either until the storm has passed.

3)    All flood policies have contents coverage just like homeowners (Contents coverage is a separate coverage under a flood policy).  That's interesting because when I got my flood insurance, the company that Andy selected had a policy that had contents coverage attached.  I have lots of clients who did not have contents insurance since they were in a low hazard area and the area had never, ever flooded.  I'm glad Andy didn't give me that choice because I would have probably selected that too!

4)    I’m a renter so I can’t buy flood insurance or don’t need it. (Renters do need flood insurance and can purchase it to protect their belongings).  Ask my tenants who lost everything in the flood in our rental property.  And if I had had flood insurance, it would NOT have covered their belongings.

5)    I’m not in flood zone. (All properties are in a flood zone and can buy flood insurance. Some zones are designated a hazardous zone and a mortgage company can mandate a policy).  My husband said the same thing.  $45,000 later, he wishes we had purchased it.

6)    I’m not in hazardous zone, so I don’t need flood insurance. (In many floods it’s estimated 30% of the properties that flood had never flooded before and were not in a hazardous zone). IN the GREAT flood of 2016, home that were not in a hazardous area flooded.  2 of the homes in my subdivision flooded over 2'.  The rest of us were fine.

7)    It can’t happen again. (Just wait and see).  Yeah, my husband said that too.  But we now have flood insurance.  Can't be too safe.

8)    My homeowners policy has a rider that covers flood insurance. (Homeowners insurance does not cover flood. Never…ever…ever!)  NEVER EVER EVER EVER!!!

9)    My flood policy has coverages just like my homeowners policy. (Flood policies cover structure and contents and are very limited compared to a homeowners policy)  Ditto

    10) FEMA will take care of everything. (Maybe, but I wouldn’t bet on it.).  Ask anyone who have been through the GREAT FLOOD OF 2016.  FEMA gave one person $7500.  That won't ever cover the flooring.  Another got $22,000 on a $125,000, with a $105K mortgage balance and a cost of $40K to fix it up.  Where is this single lady going to get the extra money.  And another person was turned down for a SBA loan because they had good credit, and good income.  They were told to go get a regular loan from someone.

Mold Testing for Flood Victims

by Pat Wattam

 

I received this information from Advantage Inspections Today.  Just pulling out the wet flooring and sheetrock isn't enough.
See Below from Kevin Dinkel.
Mold Testing for Flood Victims
Have Peace of Mind Knowing Your Home is Safe 
Mold and bacteria have ideal breeding grounds in the warm, damp flooding areas of Baton Rouge and surrounding parishes. Exposure to these harmful organisms may affect your and your family's health. The CDC warns that "molds can cause nasal stuffiness, throat irritation, coughing or wheezing, eye irritation, or, in some cases, skin irritation." Contact with mold and harmful bacteria may cause severe reactions for those with weaker immune systems, children, and the elderly. 


We are ready to work to bring Baton Rouge residents back to safe homes. If your home or office was impacted by flooding in the past few days, please give us a call at Advantage Services (225) 753-8114 to inspect your home for harmful bodies that may have grown while you were away. 
If you know someone in need of an inspection, please pass this information along. We would like to wish you and your loved ones a safe and speedy recovery!

 

The Pat Wattam Team Stands Ready to Assist

by Blake Hanna

With the horrible time our state is facing, it's easy to think you are alone. YOU ARE NOT ALONE. Our team has a wealth of resources available and we are here to help you. If you need home repair, we hae people we can put you in touch with. If you have questions about flood insurance, call us now and we'll make sure your questions are answered. If your home was flooded and you don't have flood insurance, call us now. There is relief available. If you need to make a home purchase or find a place to rent immediately, we can help. We stand ready to help however we can in these difficult times. 

The Pat Wattam Team is ready to assist you!

We have several vacant homes for sale right now that would make for an easy move. Call us now to find out more! (225)298-6900

These are priced between $130k-180k


 

Flood Map changes article provided by Andy Redpath of Baton Rouge Insurance Agency

 

Andy Redpath and I were chatting the other day, me grumbling about so many homes in Baton Rouge that are suddenly in a flood zone - homes that were NEVER in a flood zone before and how much it is costing my clients.  He gave me an example of two home owners, not in a flood zone, who thankfully had flood insurance, whose homes received 8 inches of water in the flash rain storm we had last week.  Here is the info he provided me on the floor map revisions:

 

"With the recent flood map revisions by FEMA, there are a lot of questions being asked by homeowners and new home buyers as how this might affect them. The first question is, are these revisions necessary and why are they being imposed on local parishes. The simple answer can be found with the fact that almost one in four flood claims every year are submitted by property owners that were not in a hazardous flood zone. In other words, they were not required by their mortgage company to purchase flood insurance, but they still flooded and were insured under a preferred flood policy. The good news is that anybody who has recently been determined to be in a hazardous zone can purchase a low cost preferred flood policy for two years before being subjected to the more costly standard rates. At that time they may wish to provide anelevation certificate, if favorable, to reduce their rates. For people who were not remapped to a hazardous zone, they still might wish to consider buying a preferred flood policy. $250,000 of dwelling coverage with $100,000 coverage on contents is only $365 annually.   It only takes an inch of water in your house to ruin your day."

 

For more information on homeowners insurance and flood policies contact the Baton Rouge Insurance Agency at 293-7350 or at www.bria.net.

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Photo of Pat Wattam Real Estate
Pat Wattam
RE/MAX First, Independently Owned and Operated
4750 Sherwood Common
Baton Rouge LA 70816
Office Direct: 225-298-6900
Office Main: 225-291-1234
Fax: 225-295-1234

RE/MAX First
Each Office Independently Owned and Operated
Main: 225-291-1234

Licensed by the Louisiana Real Estate Commission