One of the best parts of living in Florida is the easy access to scenic bodies of water. Whether you live on the coast near the beach or next to a lake, you already know there’s nothing like watching a sunrise or sunset on the water’s surface. But any time you live near water, there’s a risk of your home flooding. This is especially the case in Florida, where even homes that aren’t on the water could be affected by tropical storms and heavy rains. That's where flood insurance comes in.
A standard homeowner’s insurance policy does not cover flooding. Considering that 90% of natural disasters in the US lead to flooding, there’s a good chance you’ll need to use your flood insurance policy once you get it—so make sure you have one before an emergency occurs. If you haven’t gotten a policy yet, here’s why you need one, what it covers, and how to get a quote for one today.
What Is Flood Insurance?
Flood insurance is a type of home insurance with coverage specifically for water damage. If water enters your Florida home due to heavy rain, a hurricane, levee dam failure, blocked storm drains, or other reasons, your flood insurance policy will pay for the related damage.
If you’re wondering why you need a separate flood insurance policy if you already have homeowner’s insurance, it’s because the typical homeowner’s policy does not cover flooding. Instead, it covers a wide range of possible perils that include theft, fires, vandalism, and similar incidents that damage your home or belongings. Anything to do with excess rising water in your home is typically covered by a separate flood insurance policy.
Keep in mind that if your Florida home is in a flood zone and you have a mortgage, you’re required to have flood insurance. A flood zone is an area that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has defined as having a high risk of flooding. If you’re not sure whether your house is in a flood zone, you can check FEMA’s flood maps to see if flood insurance is required. But even if your house is not in a flood zone, there’s still a chance that your home will suffer from water damage, especially when you live in a state bordered by so much water, and one that experiences so many tropical storms!
What Does Flood Insurance Cover?
Before you get a Florida flood insurance policy, it’s good to know what it will cover. Basically, there are two types of coverage to buy: building coverage and contents coverage. You can choose to buy one or the other, but most people buy both. In fact, you will likely end up using both after water has damaged your home, as even a few inches of water in your house can destroy everything from your baseboards and carpet to couches and shelves.
Building coverage refers to your house itself and any important items attached to it. The coverage will pay to replace or repair nearly anything considered a part of the dwelling. This usually includes all house systems—such as electrical, plumbing, HVAC, solar energy equipment, etc. It also includes installed appliances, such as your refrigerator, stove, water heater, and dishwasher. In addition, building coverage applies to your flooring, window blinds, stairs, built-in cabinets and bookshelves, and all walls and baseboards. The most building coverage available through the National Flood Program is $250,000.
The other type of flood insurance is contents coverage, often called personal property coverage. This will cover your belongings, such as furniture, clothing, electronics, washer, dryer, etc. With flood insurance, you’ll get a payout sufficient to replace or repair the damaged property in your house, with coverage available up to $100,000. If you have particularly expensive or rare items that would cost a lot to replace, you might need to specifically add them to your insurance policy to make sure your payout is enough to cover them.
Why Should You Buy Florida Flood Insurance Now?
Now that you know what flood insurance covers and why you need it, consider whether you should get a policy. But the reality is that you should get flood insurance as soon as possible.
After all, you never know when a natural disaster might strike, causing thousands of dollars of water damage to your home. In fact, just one inch of floodwater can lead to about $25,000 of damage to your house. In addition, six of the ten most significant flood events—according to recent flood insurance payouts—occurred in Florida. This indicates that the risk of flooding is not rare here, so you should get a Florida flood insurance policy today to protect your financial wellbeing.
Another reason to get Florida flood insurance as soon as possible is that there’s often a 30-day waiting period before your policy goes into effect. So if you wait until you hear that a hurricane or major storm is supposed to hit your area this weekend, it will be too late—and you could end up paying for the water damage yourself!
Fortunately, buying Florida flood insurance is as simple as reaching out to a local trusted insurance company for a quote. At Family Insurance Services, we offer a wide range of insurance policies for Florida residents, from homeowner’s insurance to flood coverage.
Schedule an appointment with us today to learn more about our insurance options and get a quote!