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living in a low to moderate risk area like Bergen County
to pay an annual premium of between $1500 and $2000
for flood insurance."
Following Hurricane Sandy's
devastation of the East Coast last October, millions of homeowners
were left with damaged houses but no insurance coverage to provide
funds to repair the extensive damage. One report estimated that
nearly 70 percent of homes experiencing water damage during
the hurricane may have had insurance but did not specifically
carry flood insurance. Because hurricanes do not normally hit
areas that Sandy destroyed, most people owning homes or businesses
there did not think they would ever need flood insurance.
However, the National Flood Insurance Program states that close
to 25 percent of all water damage claims are filed by people
living in regions where a low to moderate flood risk exists.
The NFIP also says that expecting FEMA to come through with
financial aid in the event of a flood is a mistake. In fact,
any funds that flood victims receive to repair homes are usually
from low interest rate loans that need repaid. Further, if you
own a vacation home, that home is ineligible for FEMA aid.
Should you purchase a flood insurance policy? Representative
Robert Hunter of the Consumer Federation of America suggests
that homeowners find out from their city planning commission
office if their home is less than 10 feet from flood level.
If it is, Hunter recommends investing in a flood policy that
covers at least $30,000 in damages, around the amount of the
Damage from Trees
Hurricane Sandy demolished well over 100,000 trees, sending
them crashing onto power lines, cars, roofs and buildings and
increasing the total amount of damage by several billion dollars.
Much of this tree damage could have been prevented if home owners
as well as city officials had performed maintenance on potentially
ruinous trees that needed trimmed or cut down. While most house
insurance policies do take care of any structural damage occuring
to a house due to fallen trees, removal of a tree that did not
strike the house is not covered and will probably cost the homeowner
several thousand dollars to remove.
Reduce potential tree damage by clearing branches away from
electrical lines, cutting down dead or dying trees and planting
trees made of strong wood (dogwood or hickory), to limit damage
caused by falling trees during a hurricane.
Homeowners trying to maintain some sort of normal life following
Hurricane Sandy ran their gas-powered generators constantly
and quickly ran out of gas. Even those who were able to find
enough gas to refuel their generators, the cost of keeping one
running was too expensive to continue refueling. Energy experts
suggest using your generator no more than five hours each day
(or less if possible) to conserve energy.
Keep laptops fully charged if you know a hurricane is coming.
Later, you can use laptops to recharge dead cellphones when
electricity is off. Investing in a cordless charger or external
battery pack is also suggested, in addition to having an old-fashioned
radio and extra batteries on hand.
Flood insurance is actually quite affordable. Homeowners living
in a low to moderate risk area like Bergen County can expect
to pay an annual premium of between $1500 and $2000, a small
amount when compared to the tens of thousands of dollars in
damages that 12 inches of floodwaters can do to your beautiful
Bergen County home.
RE/MAX of Tenafly
Associates lead agents
competing companies in
specialized training and
They dominate the Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR), Certified Relocation
Professional (CRP), Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) and Leadership Training
Graduate (LTG) ranks. Read
About Orly Chen
Chen is a leading
Tenafly real estate agent
in Northern New Jersey
specializing in the Bergen
County area. Her
integrity make Orly
one of the most sought-
after agents in the
Northern New Jersey
real estate market