Why Do I Need Flood Insurance?

Florida is known for the most beautiful weather in the nation. It’s not nicknamed the Sunshine State for nothing! But, as Floridians, we know that our state’s weather has the potential to turn on a dime – especially during the summer.

Summer is the season for hurricanes and tropical storms, which can turn our utopia into something out of a nightmare. If you don’t have flood insurance in Florida, that nightmare is one that you’ll be unable to wake up from.

Flood Insurance Coverage

You may think you are adequately covered if you have a hazard insurance policy – but this is rarely the case. While hazard insurance covers damage from fire and wind, it does not typically cover flood damage.

If your home sustains damage from a flood, you could be at significant costs to repair the structure and replace your belongings. Without flood insurance, your home will not be protected from the cost of damage caused by rapidly accumulating water that could result from heavy rains, river and lake overflows or tidal surges from storms or hurricanes.

If you don’t have protection, that means you’ll pay potentially astronomical fees out of pocket. You may be able to get some relief through government programs and low interest loans, but that type of assistance is only available when the president officially declares disaster. If no disaster is declared (and 50% of the time, one isn’t) you’re looking at a hefty bill to pay on your own.

Risk Areas

You may think that you only need flood coverage if your home or business is located within a hazardous zone. But this isn’t always the case, as even structures located outside hazard zones are vulnerable to flooding in our state.

Some people think that because they’ve never experienced flooding before, their home will never experience it. But flood risk isn’t based on location alone. It’s also based on factors such as:

  • Rainfall
  • River flow
  • Tidal surge data
  • Topography
  • Flood control measures
  • Building and development changes

Nationwide, more than 20% of flood insurance claims come from people who live in homes located outside of flood risk areas. That rate is even higher in Florida, because our landscape is very flat, which makes it easy for water to spread.

Who Needs Flood Insurance?

If you live in a home with a federally backed mortgage in a high risk area, or if you have received a federal grant to cover losses from a previous flood and you want to qualify for future aid, it’s mandatory to have flood insurance.

Homeowners insurance doesn’t always reach the full extent of flood coverage. For example, in a homeowners policy, flood coverage may not include the cost to replace personal belongings, or the repair of structural damage to your home. Even hurricane coverage may not cover water damage or flooding.

In order to make sure that you’re adequately protected with homeowners or hurricane insurance, make sure that your policy explicitly states that it covers flooding and flood damage. If it doesn’t, you need to obtain separate flood coverage.

Renters Flood Insurance

Homeowners aren’t the only demographic that needs to invest in flood insurance – renters do, too. Flood coverage can protect a renter’s personal belongings.

While many renters policies cover water damage caused by the structure itself – for example, water from a broken pipe or leaky roof – they do not cover water damage from outside factors like weather events. If you add flood coverage to your policy, you will be fully protected from all sorts of damage water can cause.

Making the Investment

By passing on flood insurance in the hope that your homeowners insurance will give you adequate coverage, you might think you’re saving money. But the short-term savings that you might see aren’t worth the future damage that could occur.

If you get a basic flood insurance policy from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), it will cost on average $450 per year, and this coverage protects up to $250,000 in home damage along with $100,000 of damage to personal possessions. Even if you don’t need the entire policy, your flood insurance can still save you a good chunk of money in the wake of an emergency.

A flood policy has the potential to cover:

  • Debris cleanup
  • Structural damage repair
  • Replacement of household appliances
  • Repair of utilities damaged by floodwater
  • Building finishes (sheetrock, trim, flooring, etc.)

Contents coverage of a flood policy can include the replacement of:

  • Furniture
  • Collectibles
  • Artwork
  • Clothing
  • Shoes
  • Accessories
  • And more

Additional protection may cover expenses like:

  • Rent
  • Hotel stays
  • Meals
  • And more

Flood Insurance in Florida

If you are living without flood insurance in Florida as a homeowner or a renter, choose today to make a change and protect what matters most – your family, your home, and your belongings.

Get in touch with Lott & Gaylor Insurance today to discuss flood insurance further.

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