Property owners in flood hazard areas are often unaware of the risk of floods and do not carry adequate flood protection insurance to cover potential losses. An important fact to know is that 25% of all flood insurance claims paid throughout the nation are for homes located outside of a designated flood hazard area. Statistically your home has a 26% chance of being damaged by a flood during the course of a 30-year mortgage compared to a 9% chance of fire. Flood insurance is available for all buildings including single family homes, townhomes, and condominiums, non-residential and commercial buildings. In fact flood insurance is even available for people renting apartments that will cover the loss of their possessions. If you don’t have flood insurance, talk to your insurance agent. Homeowner’s policies do not cover damage from floods. However because the Village of Palatine participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, you can purchase a separate flood insurance policy. The insurance is backed by the federal government and is available to everyone, even if your property has flooded before or is not indicated as being in a Special Flood Hazard Area. And it cannot be canceled if you flood again. Your regular homeowner insurance will probably cost more since it needs to cover the replacement of the home and contents if it is totally destroyed by a fire or tornado. However since most flooding in this area of the country results only in damage to instead of totally destroying a home, the amount of flood insurance coverage need only to cover the cost of any expected damages. Several combinations of building and content protection or content only are available. For a typical single family home with a basement located in a Preferred Risk Area, the expected coverage’s and premiums are as follows.
Building & Contents Premium Contents Only
$20,000/$8,000 $154 $8000 $68
$30,000/ $12,000 $185 $12,000 $92
$50,000/ $20,000 $236 $20,000 $128
$75,000/ $30,000 $277 $30,000 $147
$100,000/$40,000 $304 $40,000 $164
$125,000/$50,000 $324 $50,000 $181
$150,000/$60,000 $343 $60,000 $198
$200,000/$80,000 $378 $80,000 $218
$250,000/$100,000 $405 $100,000 $238
Palatine residents are eligible for up to a 15% discount in the premium because of the Village’s participation in the National Flood Insurance Program’s Community Rating System.
Since most flood damages in Palatine are a result of flooded basements, it is important to know what flood insurance does and doesn’t cover. Under a basic building damage coverage, some of the things it will pay for in a basement includes structural damage; staircases; unpainted drywall for walls and ceilings; insulation; electrical outlets, switches and circuit breaker boxes; furnaces; central air conditioners; hot water heaters; water softeners and sump pumps. With optional content coverage it will also pay for the following items in a basement; washers; dryers; food freezers and the food in them (but not refrigerators); portable and window air conditioners. Flood insurance will not
pay for the following items in a basement; carpeting; tile; walls and ceilings not made of drywall; books and bookcases and most personal property such as clothing, electronic equipment, kitchen supplies and furniture. To view the Standard Flood Insurance Policies for dwellings and for general property to see exactly what it covers and the terms of the coverage go to www.fema.gov/business/nfip/sfip
A common cause of flood damage in Palatine is a result of sewer backups, especially in older neighborhoods where the homes do not have overhead plumbing. Damages caused by a sewer backup are covered if the backup is a direct result of flooding. However, if the backup is caused by some other problem say like tree roots, the damage is not covered. For more information on basement flooding from sewer backups and what you as a homeowner can do check out Basement Flooding on this web-page.
Since flood insurance can cover big ticket items like furnaces, hot water heaters, washers and dryers; it is worth considering. For more information ask your insurance agent or company, call the National Flood Insurance Program’s toll free # at 1-888-CALL-FLOOD or check out www.floodsmart.gov
. This web-site will also give you an estimate of the flood risk for your particular home, estimated insurance premiums and how to contact an insurance agent in your area.