Many homes and businesses in Florida are located in designated flood zones, so it should come as no surprise that flood insurance providers pay out around $17 million in flood claims a year in this state alone. If you own property in the Sunshine State, you can benefit from purchasing a flood insurance policy.
Independent insurance agents in Florida are available to help you be certain that your property is suitably covered against floods caused by heavy rains, storm surges, and overflow events. Find an insurance agent near you to get more information and to start reviewing customized quotes for coverage.
What Is Flood Insurance and Why Is It Important in Florida?
However, according to FEMA, just one inch of rainwater in your home can cause as much as $25,000 in damage. When flooding is severe and widespread, the resulting property damage can be overwhelming.
That is why the federal government stepped in in 1968 and created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). This program provides affordable coverage to people at risk for sustaining flood damage.
Flood insurance is guaranteed. You cannot be turned down due to being in a high-risk location, nor will your rates go up if you have filed a claim.
Is Flood Insurance Required in Florida?
If you have a mortgage on your property and it is located in a FEMA-designated flood zone, your lender will likely require you to cover it with flood insurance until your loan is paid in full. Otherwise, this insurance is optional.
Whether or not you are required to carry flood insurance, it is usually a good idea, even if your home or business is in a low-risk area. In fact, according to FEMA, around 20% of all flood claims filed are for properties that are located outside designated high-risk flood zones.
How Much Does Flood Insurance Cost in Florida?
The NFIP uses a standard calculation for flood insurance across the United States. Premiums for flood insurance are based on:
- Whether your property is in a designated flood zone
- How much structural coverage you are including in your policy
- How much contents coverage you are including in your policy
- Whether or not your house has a basement
On average, homeowners in Florida pay about $592 a year for flood insurance. This is 19.3% lower than the national average, mainly because so many residents who live in what are considered low-risk areas have purchased policies.
How Much of a Flood Risk Is There in Florida?
Heavy rains can saturate the ground and overwhelm drainage systems, causing flash flooding.
- US average annual rainfall: 30.21 inches
- Florida average annual rainfall: 54.5 inches
Hurricanes and tropical storms often bring storm surges and heavy rainfall to this state, especially in cities located along the coast. With 1,100 miles of Florida coastline, this includes a lot of cities and towns.
Around 38% percent of all properties in Florida are at risk for sustaining flood damage. However, not all are covered by flood insurance.
- Number of FL properties at risk for flooding: 2,923,950
- Number of FL properties covered by flood insurance: 1,779,540
Flood damage can be very expensive so a good flood insurance policy can potentially save you thousands of dollars. These policies take 30 days to go into effect, so make sure to buy your coverage well before heavy rains are imminent. If you wait until a hurricane is already headed your way, it will be too late.
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What Does Florida Flood Insurance Cover?
If you are a renter, you will only need to purchase contents coverage, since your landlord will be responsible for fixing damage to the structure of the home. If you are a landlord, you will need much less in the way of contents coverage, since your tenant will be responsible for covering their own property.
- Structural coverage flood insurance: Homeowners can purchase up to $250,000 in structural coverage, while businesses have a limit of $500,000. This can cover damage to your property’s foundation and equipment like circuit breakers, HVAC units, and built-in appliances.
- Contents coverage flood insurance: Homeowners can purchase up to $100,000 in contents coverage, while businesses have a limit of $500,000. This can cover damage to property kept on main floors as well appliances like washers and dryers that are frequently kept in basements.
You will want to be sure to buy enough coverage in each category to suitably cover your property.
What Isn't Covered by Florida Flood Insurance?
As with any insurance policy, flood insurance has some limitations. This means that not all flood-related damage is covered. Some things your policy will most likely exclude from coverage include:
- Personal belongings kept in a finished basement
- Damage caused by earth movement, landslides, and mudslides
- Damage caused by mold, mildew, or moisture
- Landscaping features
- Property kept outside your home
- Currency and important papers
Be sure that you understand the limitations of your policy before disaster strikes so you don't have to deal with any unpleasant surprises later.
Why Work with an Independent Agent in Florida?
Independent insurance agents can offer guidance and advice when you are shopping any type of insurance coverage for your home or business. These agents can help you compare rates for different levels of coverage so you can choose the policy that best meets your coverage and budgetary needs.
There are nearly 1,600 independent agents with offices in Florida. Arrange an obligation-free consultation with an insurance agent near you to get started.
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