Tampa, FL, and the surrounding communities are no stranger to extreme weather conditions. In the last 70 years, there have been at least 15 emergency declarations in relation to hurricanes and severe storms. Once the harsh weather passed and flood waters receded, Tampa residents were then left to repair the costly damage that was left behind. If history is any clue to future events, the risk of flooding remains for Tampa families and business owners.
Flood insurance begins 30 days after the policy is purchased, so don't wait until a hurricane is about to make landfall to decide you want to be protected. Independent insurance agents in Tampa can guide you to the most beneficial, yet affordable, flood insurance coverage. Find an insurance agent near you to learn more.
What Is Flood Insurance?
Homeowners insurance, business insurance, and renters insurance go a long way toward covering your assets and protecting your pocketbook. However, you might be surprised to learn that these policies don't cover against flood damage. Fortunately, in 1968 the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was created by the US government to protect property owners from losing everything due to floods.
Flood insurance is a federally guaranteed policy that provides affordable coverage to property owners, businesses, and renters. You can’t be turned down for coverage, and your rates will not increase following a claim. Speak with a local independent insurance agent to learn more.
How Much Does Tampa, FL Flood Insurance Cost?
US flood insurance rates are all the same no matter which state you call home. Flood rates are based on:
- How much coverage you’re buying: You can decide how much structural and contents coverage you’d like included in your policy, up to a maximum limit.
- Where your property is located (e.g., low-risk, medium-risk, or high-risk community): FEMA determines your area’s risk level. Those in low-risk areas can get the lowest pricing available.
- Your deductible: Higher deductibles mean lower pricing.
- Whether your property has a basement: Homes with basements are usually less expensive to insure.
Talk to a Tampa insurance agent to learn how much you’ll pay for a flood policy for your business or home.
Average Rainfall in Tampa
Tampa gets more rainfall than most of the nation.
- US average rainfall each year: 38.1 inches
- Tampa, FL average rainfall each year: 50.6 inches
When prolonged heavy rains fall, the ground can quickly become saturated, drainage systems can be overwhelmed, and waterways like Tampa Bay can overflow their banks. This can lead to flash flooding that causes widespread, expensive damage.
Why Do I Need Flood Insurance in Tampa, FL?
Mortgage companies require property owners in high-risk flood zones to carry flood insurance. Depending on your lender, this coverage may be required if you live in a medium-risk area. Once you own your property outright, flood insurance is optional, but very much recommended.
FEMA estimates that as little as one inch of water in your home can cause up to $25,000 in damage. While residents with property along the Tampa Bay shoreline, nestled next to the Gulf of Mexico, have the most risk, flash floods can affect nearly anyone in Tampa. In fact, about 20% of all flood insurance claims filed are for properties located in low-risk zones.
Also, while you may think that you can forgo flood insurance because FEMA will help pay to rebuild following a major storm, FEMA’s assistance only comes if the area is declared a federal disaster, and the help is just a low-interest loan that must be paid back. Flood insurance doesn’t need to be paid back.
What Does Flood Insurance Cover?
Flood insurance has two separate parts: contents coverage and structural coverage. Depending on your situation, you might decide to buy only one or both types of protection.
- Contents coverage: This covers personal belongings kept in the main living space like carpeting, electronics, furniture, clothing, and portable appliances. In basements, it covers only appliances that are kept in that part of the house like your dryer, washing machine, and freezer. Homeowners can purchase a maximum of $100,000 in contents coverage and businesses have a limit of $500,000.
- Structural coverage: This covers damage to your property’s foundation as well as important systems like furnaces, water heaters, plumbing, built-in appliances, and permanent flooring. Homeowners can buy as much as $250,000 in structural coverage, while businesses can buy up to $500,000.
Talk to a local independent insurance agent for help determining which type of coverage is right for you.
What Is Not Covered by Flood Insurance?
Homeowners with finished basements are usually surprised to learn that, other than appliances that are normally kept in the basement, personal property stored in the basement won’t be covered by flood insurance.
Other things flood insurance will not cover:
- Currency and important documents
- Remediation of mildew and mold
- Outdoor property including lawn furniture, septic systems, wells, landscaping, trees, and swimming pools
- Structural damage caused by mudslides, even if it happened because of flooding
- Claims filed within 30 days of purchasing your policy
Talk to a local independent insurance agent to better understand what is (and isn’t) covered by flood insurance.
Why Work with an Independent Insurance Agent in Tampa, FL?
It’s a great idea to talk with an independent insurance agent in Tampa for assistance when you're shopping for flood insurance. These insurance professionals live and work in your neighborhood, so they understand the risks you face when it comes to floods and other natural disasters.
Reach out to an insurance agent today to learn more about flood insurance as well as any other insurance products that may be beneficial.
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