Everyone lives in a flood zone.

Flooding is the top-ranked natural disaster in the United States, with a dozen potential causes ranging from heavy rains, tropical storms and hurricanes to new housing developments and rain after fire. Floods can occur in all 50 states and, when they do, they leave massive damage in their wake.

Flood damages exceed $2.7 billion annually.

As a homeowner, you carry homeowners insurance to protect against theft and loss. Typical homeowners insurance, however, excludes damages from flooding. Homeowners in Naples , therefore, should make sure to have a separate flood insurance policy. And once that policy is in place, there are other steps you should follow, too.

First, make a log of your possessions, either on paper or by video. In your log, include everything that you own of value. Next, if you own jewelry, have it appraised and store the appraisal; if you own appliances, log the serial numbers and attach original receipts.

Then, buy a safe-deposit box at a bank, for example, and store your possession log. 

All of this information matters because, in the event you need to make a claim, you’ll have an easier time dealing with the insurance adjuster. It’s hard to prove possession of items that have been washed away by flood waters, after all.

You’ll also want to share this list with your insurance agent in advance so your policy is made with the proper amount of coverage.

Floods can strike anywhere and, as many people learn the hard way, standard homeowners insurance does not include flood coverage. If you’re without flood coverage, talk to your insurance agent about adding a flood policy.

Because many policies don’t take effect until 30 days from purchase, this is one form of insurance you’ll want to buy in advance.

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