Flood Insurance Policies for Florida Homeowners
A common mistake that many Florida homeowners make each hurricane season is the assumption that their homeowner’s insurance will cover property damage that is caused by floods and hurricanes. If your property is in an area with a high risk for damage, such as near a lake, then you may want to consider purchasing a separate policy to make sure your home and its contents are covered.
How Do You Get Flood Insurance?
Flood insurance is managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) but can be purchased through your insurance agent or broker through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Availability for these policies is open to NFIP-participating communities that have agreed to pass and enforce specific stormwater and floodplain management laws. To reach an agent, contact the NFIP at 888-379-9531.
How Much Coverage Can You Get?
NFIP flood insurance policies can provide a maximum coverage of $250,000 and $100,000 for contents. These types of coverage must be purchased individually but can be a part of the same policy. According to the NFIP, the average cost for a policy typically runs around $700 annually. Additional coverage may also be purchased through private insurers.
Do You Really Need this Policy?
When purchasing a home in a designated high-risk flood zone and receiving a mortgage loan from a federally regulated or insured lender, you are required to purchase flood insurance.
If you live in a zone that has been designated as a moderate or low-risk flood zone, you are not required to purchase a policy. However, though you are not required to purchase the policy, you may want to consider doing so anyway to protect yourself from paying out of pocket in case of an emergency. According to FEMA, approximately twenty-five percent of flood insurance claims come from areas. That still makes up a large portion of recorded home damage due to hurricane and flood-related disasters!
The good news is that if you do live in a low-to-moderate flood risk zone, you may be eligible for a much lower insurance rate. Some premiums of flood insurance policies for these homeowners have been seen to be as low as $137 per year for both property and contents coverage.
Are Payouts for Contents and Property Different?
Yes, there is a difference in the way insurance companies will pay out for different types of coverage.
- Contents - Flood insurance will pay a cash value for the cost to replace lost or damaged contents. The amount paid out also factors in the depreciated value of used goods.
- Property - If receiving insurance for a single-family home as your primary residence, you can opt for the replacement of damaged or lost property with new property, regardless of depreciation. The amount of coverage for your property is set in advance and is typically either eighty percent of the full replacement cost for your property or the maximum amount available under the NFIP.
Why You Should Act Now
Flood insurance works a bit differently than other types of insurance policies. With a few exceptions, your coverage does not typically kick in until you have had your active policy for 30 days. If a disaster, such as a hurricane, occurs within this time frame, your insurance policy will not cover the costs of damage.
Also, there are other benefits to activating your policy early. Aside from hurricane damage, a flood insurance policy will also cover you for damage resulting from heavy or prolonged rainstorms, coastal storm surges, clogged storm drainage systems, and mudslides!
After Receiving Flood or Hurricane Damage
After hurricane damage or flood damage has occurred, you should call your insurance provider and establish a claim. Once your adjuster has been notified, calling a professional restoration company can ensure that your damage is attended to properly and your home gets back to the way it was. SERVPRO is the largest nationally recognized name in restoration and is recommended and trusted by many of the largest insurance providers. SERVPRO of Winter Park is available around the clock for emergency storm damage services and have the fastest response times to begin extracting water from your home and drying the property out. If you receive flood damage, give our office a call at 407-678-5391.