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Posted on: February 11, 2019

Are you in a likely flood zone?

In the wake of flooding Wednesday night that affected consumers across Tennessee, the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance (TDCI) and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) are sharing tips to help consumers familiarize themselves with flood insurance.

Flooding is the most common and expensive type of natural disaster in the United States, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Yet data from a 2016 FEMA report on active flood policy information revealed many Tennesseans are not covered by flood insurance.


What Should I Do in the Event of a Flood?

  • Have a plan. Learn the evacuation routes in your community. If you are staying in your home during a flood event, go to the highest level of your home. If you are outdoors, move to higher ground and take shelter, if necessary.
  • Prepare your home. Move items you want to protect to a higher floor and prepare to turn off your electricity.
  • Store your insurance information in a safe place. Regularly update your homeowners or renters insurance and maintain a home inventory to keep a record of your possessions. Also, keep track of records and receipts. (MyHome Scr.APP.book: Apple Store or Google Play)
  • Take pictures of any property damage. Try to prevent further damage by cleaning and drying wet items.
  • File a claim. Keep insurance agent and company contact information handy. Most insurance companies have a time requirement for reporting a claim, so contact your agent or company as soon as possible. Your state insurance department can help you find contact information for your company, if you cannot find it.
  • Beware of fraud. Protect yourself by getting more than one bid from contractors and requesting references. Ask for proof of necessary licenses, building permits, insurance and bonding. Record the contractor’s license plate and driver’s license numbers and check for complaints with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). Tennesseans can verify the license of contractors and other professionals by visiting verify.tn.gov.
  • Beware of flooded vehicle scams. After a flood, consumers should be alert for scammers who might disguise severely water-damaged vehicles as being perfectly good. Any person selling a flood vehicle is required by law prior to the sale of the vehicle to disclose such to the purchaser. Further, once titling that vehicle, the purchaser will receive a branded vehicle title indicating the vehicle’s salvage history. Remember: A vehicle’s flood history may take up to 30 days or longer to post on traditional consumer reporting sites. As such, the Tennessee Motor Vehicle Commission recommends that individuals purchase motor vehicles from a licensed motor vehicle dealer, which they can verify at verify.tn.gov.

-- per Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance

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