The Department's Insurance Division: Hotlines, Contact Informationmore>>
By Ben Hall
NASHVILLE, Tenn. - Many of those affected by the flood did not buy flood insurance because they thought they'd never need it. Those who did buy flood insurance have learned a tough lesson about reading the fine print.
Jeremy Hundley lives in a flood plain in East Nashville and bought flood insurance when he bought his home. He and his wife have lived there more than a year and spent money remodeling.
When the flood hit they thought they were covered, but their agent told them flood insurance only covers in the structure. It does not cover anything inside the home.
"We thought we were covered," said Hundley. "It's infuriating."
Hundley said he and his wife would have bought the additional coverage if they knew they needed it. Many of their neighbors are in the same situation. They have flood insurance, but no insurance for the contents of their home.
Insurance agents said the additional coverage would cost about $50 a month.
Agents across the region said they've received numerous calls in recent days about buying flood insurance. Anyone can buy flood insurance. If you are not in a flood plain, it is about $300 a year for the average home.
A temporary operation center has been set up in Donelson at the Law Enforcement Training Academy to help flood victims with questions about making insurance claims.
The center was set up after flooding forced the closure of the Department of Commerce and Insurance at the Davy Crockett Tower on James Robertson Parkway.
Many people have emailed NewsChannel 5 with questions about how to file for insurance. Flood insurance is overseen by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Information about making claims is available at http://www.fema.gov/hazard/flood/info.shtm.
According to a news release, the Tennessee Board for Licensing Contractors has had reports of unlicensed contractors already taking advantage of residents anxious to rebuild in the wake of Nashville's record flooding. Homeowners can check for a contractors' license with the Board at http://licsrch.stsate.tn.us/.
Questions about specific insurance policies should be directed to policy holder's insurance companies.
See the list below to find your insurance company's hotlines:
Allstate Insurance Company (800) 255-7828
American National Property & Casualy (800) 333-2860
AIG Insurance Company (877) 638-4244
American Superior (800) 342-2762
Auto-Owners (888) 252-4626
Cincinnati Insurance Company (877) 242-2544
Cotton States (800) 457-1658
Encompass Insurance (800) 340-3016
Fireman's Fund (888) 347-3428
Grange (800) 445-3030
Hartford Insurance Company (800) 637-5410
Liberty Mutual (800) 633-1833
Nationwide (800) 421-3535
Progressive (800) 776-4737
Prudential (800) 346-3778
Safeco Insurance (800) 332-3226
Insurance agents said even if you do not have flood insurance, you should still file a claim for damage against your homeowners insurance. By filing a claim, it will be easier for you to get federal assistance from FEMA.