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Shop Flood Insurance Before the Storm Season to Avoid Coverage Delays
June 6, 2018
Over 850,000 Floridians in high risk flood areas don’t have flood insurance – that’s almost two thirds of the 1.3 million homes in the four southernmost counties in the state, where there is at least a one-in-four chance of flooding during a 30-year period. Many of these homeowners aren’t even aware that their home insurance policy doesn’t cover flooding, or that they have to purchase it separately to have flood coverage.
Across the state, millions more homeowners also don’t have flood insurance – even though every square mile of Florida is at some risk for flooding. Almost 25 percent of flood-insurance claims come from low-to-moderate risk areas and receive one-third of all federal disaster assistance for flooding.
Where to Obtain Flood Insurance
Standard homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover flood damage, which is often referred to as an excluded peril. Flood insurance must be purchased separately, and most flood insurance policies are obtained through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) which is administrated by FEMA. Excess flood insurance can also be acquired from certain private companies to provide additional coverage.
Why Buy Flood Insurance Now?
Typically, a flood insurance policy does not take effect until 30 days after the date of purchase (some exceptions to the 30-day flood insurance waiting period apply.) Buying and maintaining flood insurance now can help protect Floridians financially from storm damage; flood insurance policies protect policyholders financially even when a disaster area has not been declared or if they live in a county that has been affected by flooding but not designated for federal assistance.
How Much is the Average Flood Damage Claim?
As of March 15, 2018, nearly 33,000 NFIP claims for Irma damage had been filed. More than $993 million had been paid to policyholders, with an average closed claim payment for flood damage of $46,099. Florida homeowners without flood coverage had to pay for repairs out of pocket.
How Much Does Flood Coverage Cost?
The national average for an annual flood insurance policy premium for home and business owners is about $700 for up to $250,000 in coverage. Properties in moderate-to-low risk areas may qualify for lower-cost policies, and some policies may be as little as a quarter of that cost. However, even more expensive policies will be more affordable than paying for flood damage repairs.
Don’t wait until storm season hits to get flood coverage. If you live in Florida, your home and belongings are at risk. Ask your agent about flood coverage options today.