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Do you Have Flood Insurance?

Floods are the #1 natural disaster. 

Each year, more U.S. properties within flood plains are destroyed by flooding than by fire.  Changing weather patterns, increased urban development, and the leveling of forests have reduced the land’s natural ability to absorb water. 

A Homeowners Insurance Policy doesn’t cover flooding. 

Property owners know a Homeowners policy covers fire damage, but most don’t realize that it won’t cover flood or mudslide damage.  Rising waters and debris can destroy your home, business and personal belongings within minutes.

Federal assistance is difficult to obtain. 

Most floods don’t qualify for federal disaster aid.  Only floods that are declared national disasters by the President qualify for federal assistance.

Flood damage is a growing problem. 

As more flooding occurs throughout the country, the cost of rebuilding is skyrocketing.  Floods now cause more than $2 billion in property damage each year.  That’s your tax money being used to help thousands of flood victims across the country.  There is an answer. –Flood insurance.

Flood Insurance is easy to buy. 

Anyone can buy flood insurance if his or her property is located in a community that participates in the National Flood Insurance Program.  Homes, condos, apartments, and business structures are all eligible.  Even renters may purchase flood insurance for their possessions.  Flood premiums are set by the U.S. government.  The average Flood policy is only $324 a year.

What I need for a Homeowners Insurance Quote:

Year Built: Most insurance companies need to know what year your home was built.  The age of your home affects the type of risk it is for an insurance company to insure.  A lot of insurance companies also offer discounts on newer homes.For instance, Farmers Insurance offers a “New Home Discount” on homes that were built within the last 10 years or newer.

Square Feet:

The size of your home is very important.  Most Homeowners Insurance policies will insure by Replacement Cost rather than Actual Cash Value, and the size of your new home is a necessity when configuring the Replacement Cost.

Type of Home:

Is your home a 1 story

  •  1 1/2 story
  • 2 story
  • Ranch
  • Tri-level
  • Mobilehome
  • Modular Home
  • Townhouse
  • Condo, etc.

Roof Type:

  • How old is the roof? 
  • Is it Asphalt Shingles? 
  • Does it have a warranty?

Insurance History:

  • Have you ever had a Homeowners Insurance Claim?  If so, how long ago and for how much?


  • Is there a basement? 
  • Is it finished? 
  • What percentage is finished? 
  • Is it a walkout basement? 

Garage Type:

  • Attached/Detached? 
  • How many Stalls?

Interior Information:

  • Is the interior of the home Drywall or Plaster? 
  • Covered in Paint or Wallpaper? 
  • Is the flooring mostly Carpet, Hardwood, Tile, Laminate, etc.?


  • How many baths does your home have?
  • Full baths?  
  • Half Baths?  
  • Custom Baths?


  • Is there a fireplace?  Gas, electric? 
  • What’s the homes main heating source?
  • How many chimneys?


  • When was the electric updated? 
  • How old is the Furnace? 
  • Has the plumbing been updated?

Farmers Next Generation Homeowners Insurance Policy offers discounts for all three of these types of Renovations.

Additional Features:

  • Does your home have a Deck?
  • Jacuzzi?  
  • Swimming Pool?
  • Skylights?  
  • French Doors?  
  • Sliding Glass Doors?  
  • Hot Tub?  
  • Trampoline?

Contributed to by:

David Gregwer at Farmers Insurance

Are Vacant Homes in Grand Rapids Insurable?

You’re thinking about purchasing a vacant property and renovating some of the rental units, or you have a vacant home you can’t seem to sell.  The trouble is that many insurance companies offer little or no vacant coverage. 

You may even have the home insured the same way when someone was living there and taking the chance that if a claim does happen then your insurance company won’t deny it.

Vacant homes are considered a high risk to insure; which is why many insurance companies don’t offer coverage for them.  If a pipe bursts in a vacant home and floods the basement then it may go unnoticed for days or even months causing severe damage.Many other risks such as animal damage, vandalism, theft, fire and general maintenance repairs are considered to be much more volatile when it comes to vacant homes.  There’s nobody in the home preventing these risks from happening.Make sure your vacant home is covered correctly and let your insurance agent know whether the home is occupied or not.  Be sure and select a vacant policy with pro-rated cancellation benefits.  That way, you won’t have to hunt for new coverage every three months- and you’ll get a pro-rated refund if you cancel before the normal one-year coverage period.

If you have a vacant home and are unsure about your coverage’s than click on our contact info and send me a message regarding your questions or concerns.

Contributed to by:

David Gregwer at Farmers Insurance

Reconstruction Cost vs. Market Value On A Home Purchase

When it comes to insuring your home, make sure you know the difference between insuring by the Reconstruction Cost versus insuring by the actual Market Value.  The reconstruction cost is the amount it would cost to actually rebuild your home if there was a total lost.  The Market Value is what you bought the home for or what it was appraised at.

For instance, you may have an older Victorian style home here in Heritage Hills which was built in the early 1900’s and has a market value of $180,000, but actually reconstruction cost of the home may be much over $250,000 due to the size and way the home was built. 

The opposite is also true; you may have a regular size home on Lake Michigan or on 100 acres of land which has a market value over $500,000, but an insurance company doesn’t need to insure the lake front view or your land, they just need to insure the home.

I’ll get into more detail on how Farmers and other insurance companies calculate reconstruction cost in future blogs.   Be sure and leave any comments or concerns on the contact us link.

Contributed to by:

David Gregwer at Farmers Insurance

Grand Rapids Resource Welcomes it’s Newest Contributor, David Gregwer with Farmers Insurance Agency!


My name is David Gregwer and I own a Farmers Insurance Agency here in Grand Rapids, Michigan. 

Farmers Insurance Group is one of the largest auto and home insurers in the Nation.  Farmers Insurance has been around for more than 75 years and my agency has been established for over 30 years.

As an experienced and dedicated Farmers agent, I pride myself on providing excellent products at the best value and unparalleled service to every customer I’m privileged to serve. 

I believe that there is a difference between just having insurance and being properly insured.  Purchasing insurance shouldn’t be a difficult decision and I hope to help you understand the ins-and-outs so you can choose the right type of coverage for your needs.