Breaking Down Flood Insurance
Florida flood damage can be caused by severe weather, water main breaks, interior water leaks, and a variety of other things. Floods are the most common natural disaster and they cause the most damage.
Low Risk Areas are Still at Risk
Even in low risk areas, heavy rains cause more runoff because trees and grasslands have been replaced with shopping malls, streets, buildings, and parking lots. The National Flood Insurance Program has paid out 24% of its claims to homes and businesses in low risk areas.
Flood Insurance is Available
Some homeowners are required by their mortgage lender to have flood insurance because of their location in a flood zone. For others, flood insurance is simply recommended. When signing up for a new policy, there’s usually a thirty day waiting period and flood insurers generally require a single, annual payment.
People who live in Florida understand the constant risk of flooding, especially those located in inter-coastal areas. Many, however, may not realize that flood coverage is not included in homeowners insurance. Fortunately, it’s very affordable. Even renters can and are recommended to buy flood insurance. Basements and attached, below-grade rooms are subject to limited coverage by flood insurance.
Flood Insurance Prices Vary
Rates are dependent on several factors including: the age of home, type of building construction, previous flood damage claims, and the property’s location. There are flood plain maps that assign a level of flooding risk. Some areas on these maps have mandatory flood insurance requirements. Also, just like other types of insurance, a higher deductible lowers the premium required as well as your claim payment amount.
Why You Many Need Flood Insurance
People hear about Federal Disaster Assistance through news stories. This, however, is usually a loan and not a grant and it’s only available for properties with severe damage. Similarly, federal rental assistance is also only available under the same circumstances.
Flood Insurance Policy Coverage
Before buying flood insurance, make sure it covers both:
Building Property – This includes your house, foundation, the electric, central air/heat and plumbing systems, and built in items.
Personal Contents – This covers what you might take with you if you move, such as clothing, electronics, and furniture.
There are certain aspects of your home that are not covered by flood insurance. Consult your insurance agent regarding:
Free-standing/unattached sheds and outbuildings
Property that is permanently located outside the house like landscaping, septic systems, walkways, decks/patios/fences, and pools
Loss of home-based business income
Sewer line backups
Wind-driven water (hurricanes)
Homeowners and home-based businesses can get low-interest disaster loans which they are required to pay back over a thirty 30 year period. That money could easily exceed the average annual premium of approximately $500 under the National Flood Insurance Program. Getting insurance is always a better option and is something every property owner should investigate.
If your home has suffered Florida water and flood damage, contact the disaster recovery experts at FLA-CAT. Visit our website for more information about our services and disaster recovery.