If you live in Florida, the answer is probably yes, according to Roy Wright, former director of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
Florida has the longest seacoast in the continental United States, as well as flat terrain and many rivers. Flooding can be caused by storms (including hurricanes), dams or levees breaking, or even new development that changes the way water flows. You don’t even need to live in an area known to be at high risk for flooding to find the water rising. More than 20 percent of all flood claims come from outside high-risk flood zones.
Here are some additional Florida flood facts:
- Floods are the most common type of national disaster. Forty percent of all disasters worldwide involve flooding.
- Just one inch of water in your home can cause more than $25,000 worth of damage.
- Florida was affected by six of the 10 most significant flood events by NFIP payouts: hurricanes Katrina, Harvey, Ivan, Irma and Matthew, and Tropical Storm Allison.
- Residential properties in Florida have the most potential exposure to hurricane storm surge in the nation.
- In 2016, just 14 percent of homeowners in the South carried flood insurance. (The national average was 12 percent.)
- NFIP policies provide coverage of up to $250,000 for your home’s structure, and up to $100,000 for your personal possessions. If you need higher limits, you’ll need a private flood insurance policy.
- NFIP authority must be renewed by Congress periodically, and is due for renewal by July 31, 2018. If it is not renewed, the NFIP will stop selling and renewing policies, but claims will still be paid.
- Private insurers have become more comfortable underwriting flood policies because of better models to predict flood risk. In 2017, 33 private companies wrote flood insurance, up from 20 in 2016. Lakewood Financial represents several of these private insurers.
- In 2016, the average amount of flood coverage was $246,890. Average premium was $656.
- The average flood claim in 2016 was $62,247.
- After a flood, most federal assistance comes in the form of low-interest disaster loans which will need to be paid back. FEMA disaster grants don’t need to be paid back, but they are often much less than what you would need to recover. A flood insurance claim should provide the funds you need to get back on your feet.
Flood coverage is excluded under standard homeowners policies, but purchasing a flood insurance policy is more affordable than before. Lakewood Financial represents several private insurance companies that will write home flood insurance at competitive rates. Give us a call at 941-747-4600 or contact us online—let us help you protect your home from the risk of flood damage.
For more information, visit: https://www.floodsmart.gov/