Flood risk across the continental U.S. is concentrated along coastlines, and no state has more vulnerable beachfront miles than Florida. The Sunshine State boasts over 1300 miles of coastline, making it the perfect place for sun and sand – and flood. With a population of nearly 21 million people, that’s a lot of homes at risk; and coastline residences aren’t the only ones in the path of floodwaters. The average elevation above sea level is only 6 feet, meaning that every home in Florida is at risk for flood.
Do Homeowners Insurance Policies Include Flood Coverage?
Many insurance agents across the state of Florida agree that the biggest misconception Floridians have about their homeowners insurance policy is that flood coverage is included. It’s not.
Who Needs Flood Insurance?
Flood zone maps calculate risk of flood, and most mortgage issuers use these maps to decide whether or not to mandate flood insurance for homebuyers. However, 20% or more of flood claims every year come from “low risk” flood zones. Hurricane Irma affected homes in areas only expected to flood once in every 100 years, causing massive damage and costs difficult for homeowners to absorb.
How Can Flood Insurance Be Obtained?
Flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is administered by the Flood Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). NFIP was created to provide affordable flood insurance for residents living in areas where flooding is a regular occurrence. Roy Wright, who oversees the program, recommends that all Floridians purchase flood insurance regardless of their flood zone designation.
What Does Flood Insurance Cover?
The standard NFIP policy provides replacement cost coverage capped at $250,000 for damage to the structure of the home and actual cash value coverage capped at $100,000 for loss of personal possessions. Flood insurance does not cover water related damage from other causes (such as leakage / seepage claims), or damage caused by wind driven rain.
Does Flood Coverage Make Sense?
Florida has no “flood free” zones. Every year carries the possibility of another flood-causing weather event. Having a flood insurance policy (which is on average only a $700 annual commitment) is the only option that makes good financial sense for Florida homeowners.
Ask your insurance agent about flood insurance before the next storm season hits. Flood insurance could save you from devastating losses and prevent you from having to carry the cost of restoring your home after a hurricane. If you live in Florida, it’s the best choice for you, your family, and your home.
About Olympus Insurance Company
Headquartered in Palm Beach Gardens, FL and founded in 2007, Olympus Insurance Company specializes in Florida property insurance. Through its independent agency force, Olympus insures $40 billion worth of residential and investment property including homes, condos, rental property, and valuable personal property, with umbrella coverage and Spartan Enhanced Coverage available. Coverage for individual risks up to $5 million in total insured value is provided on one of the most comprehensive coverage forms in the industry.
For more information, visit olympusinsurance.com.