Georgia Insurance Commissioner John Oxendine had the following tips for homeowners suffering from flood damage:
For those without insurance (Oxendine estimates that’s 80 percent of those affected):
– Start dealing with the damage, either personally or by contacting a professional. Get the wet carpet out of the house. Do not save the padding. Throw it out.
– Get air flowing in the house, but do not use the air-conditioner. Open the windows. Use large fans and dehumidifiers.
– Hope the federal government approves FEMA money to assist Georgians financially.
For those with flood insurance:
– Document the damage for your insurance company. Make sure to take photos.
– Coordinate with your insurance agent to get a restoration company to dry, clean and decontaminate everything affected.
What if a sewer or septic tank backed up?
Oxendine says bare-bones policies do not cover that, but premium policies generally do. So make sure to check on that.
In the future, is flood insurance worth it?
Oxendine says about 9 percent of Georgians in single-family homes carry flood insurance. He thinks it’s worth considering in the future. In low-risk areas, he says some of the premiums run about $120 to $150. But, he added, it can be more expensive in higher risk areas.
This question was added later after many blog comments: Can any homeowner in Georgia buy flood insurance?
Most can. Homeowners in all but 16 communities in Georgia can purchase flood insurance if their home is not located in a flood plain. The excluded 16 communities did not chose to participate in the federal flood program. A list of communities that do participate can be found at www.fema.gov/cis/ga.pdf