As Florida hurricane season approaches, residents need to know the basics about homeowners insurance and flood insurance.
Florida’s peninsula is surrounded by two vast bodies of water. The state’s 67 counties are crisscrossed by more than 1,700 lakes, rivers and streams. Most of the state is at or near sea level.
This means that practically everyone in the state is susceptible to flooding and water damage.
Homeowners Insurance in Florida
Homeowners insurance protects your home and property. The standard homeowner’s policy covers damage from disasters like fires and storms. In addition, the policy may protect against accidental injury or death that occurs on the property.
Homeowners insurance usually covers:
- The dwelling
- Other structures on the property
- Personal property
- Loss of use of property and additional living expenses
- Personal liability
- Medical costs to others
- Additional coverage
Homeowners insurance can apply to single residences, duplexes, condominiums and rental property.
Most homeowner’s policies do not cover flood damage.
Flood Insurance in Florida
Just as its name suggests, flood insurance covers damage to property caused by flooding or high water.
Floods are the number one disaster in the U.S. Your home has a 26 percent chance of being damaged by a flood during the course of a 30-year mortgage, compared with a 9 percent chance of being damaged by fire, according to Florida Flood Insurance.
Other flood insurance facts:
- If you live in a Special Flood Hazard Area or a high-risk area, and you have mortgage that is federally backed, it is highly likely that your mortgage lender requires you to purchase flood insurance.
- Hurricanes, storms and heavy rains can cause flooding as can land development project, particularly if the construction alters natural runoff patterns.
- It only takes one inch of water to cause significant property damage.
- Oftentimes, flash floods result in walls of water up to 10 or 20 feet high. Two feet of floodwater can easily carry away a car.
- Flood insurance premiums vary according to where you live. If you live in a low-to-moderate risk area and are eligible for the Preferred Risk Policy, your cost for $100,000 in coverage may be as low as $119 a year. In riskier locations, the annual cost could be $400 or more.
- You are eligible to purchase flood insurance if your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program.
- It may take 30 days after purchase for a policy to take effect, so it’s important to buy insurance before floodwaters start to rise.
Filing claims and dealing with insurance companies can be stressful and difficult. A qualified Florida accident attorney can help make the process easier.
Florida Flood Insurance