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Some business owners learn too late about the limits of their insurance policies in the event of a flood. Without obtaining flood insurance separately, many business owners don't have the valuable protection they need, since this coverage is not typically included in a general policy. Floods can destroy or damage your business and property in just a few short hours, and going without a flood insurance policy exposes your assets to high levels of risk from floods. In fact, the majority of businesses closing their doors from the effects of problems like floods are never able to reopen as the costs of repair or rebuilding are simply too high.
According to the government website FloodSmart, the average business flood claim throughout 2007-2011 was more than $75,000- a cost that is simply too much to bear for the majority of businesses. Unless you have significant liquid assets set aside to cover expenses from events generated by Mother Nature, leaving your company without flood insurance is a serious risk to take.
Your premiums for a flood insurance policy can be extremely reasonable if your business is determined to be a "preferred risk". This is for any business located in moderate to low risk areas for floods, and for a small price, your property and the contents inside can be insured against losses in a flood. The premiums for flood insurance take into account the number of floors being insured, the location of the contents being insured, the flood risk of the area where the business is located, the occupancy of the building, the date of building construction, and the deductible elected for the policy.
As with all types of insurance, it's important to read the fine print of your policy to verify exactly what's covered. For the most part, any damage caused by mildew or mold that could have been rectified by the property owner, property and belongings outside the building, and currency are not covered in a flood insurance policy. Coverage is also limited in basement areas (even if the date of construction is relatively new).
Finding a flood insurance policy is an important process. You'll want to ask the right questions before deciding on your final coverage determination, such as:
- Is my business located in a flood danger zone?
- Does my lender mandate that I obtain flood coverage?
- What is and what is not covered under this flood insurance policy?
- How do my premium rates change if I elect a different deductible amount?
- Are there any other charges or fees associated with obtaining this policy?
- Does my business location qualify me for a preferred risk policy? If not, what are the differences in premiums for a standard risk policy?
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