Better Safe Than Sorry

By: Kara Tsuboi
By: Kara Tsuboi

"When the water went rushing down the road, it was like waterfront property. I didn't worry until I went into my basement and stepped into 4 inches of water," says Martha Puckett.

To her, a gospel singer, the most devastating part is her soggy recording studio...and the possibility that four computers--that hold her music--may have been destroyed...when the waters rose in this old Southwest neighborhood.

Martha believes the water came up through cracks in her cement floor. That's why the carpet--that had covered all 3-thousand square feet--has been torn up. One, because it's soggy and ruined...and two, in fear it could grow mold.

"That'd be around 10-thousand dollars--that's a lot of money. Heaven knows about the studio. Probably another 10."

The worst part of this story is that Martha and her husband Melvin don't have flood insurance.

"Because we're not in a flood zone."

And she's not alone.
John Hesse, an agent for farmers insurance, estimates that only 3 to 4 percent of his clients bother to buy a flood policy.

"Unless the mortgage company demands it, most people do not take on a flood policy."

Rates for flood insurance depend on the value of the home and its elevation. Hesse says people shouldn't hesitate because of the cost...after all, isn't safe better than sorry?

"I would say from a minimum of probably 3 to 4 to 5 hundred a year. Then it can go to a couple of thousand, to 3-thousand after that."

To find out if you need flood insurance -- or how much it would cost -- call a local insurance agent.


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