What Every Resident Needs to Know About Florida Flood Insurance

January 6, 2019

Did you know that a few inches of water from flooding can cause tens of thousands of dollars in repairs? These are devastating numbers. Especially when you consider that Florida flood insurance can cost as little as $500 a year!

Are you a Florida resident? Is your home protected from potential damage due to hurricanes, flood, or severe storm?

Sadly, over 80% of Floridians did not have flood insurance during Hurricane Irma in 2017.

That’s the thing – even homes outside of flood Zones can get affected! 335,000 insurance claims totaled a whopping $1.9 billion in property damages. And many of those homes were in areas not designated as official high-risk Zones.

Florida’s hazard zones total three times the amount of any other state. 2.5 million homes are at risk. Is yours one of them?

Here’s what you need to know when considering flood insurance for your residence!

What Does Florida Flood Insurance Cover?

Are you thinking about investing in flood insurance? Then you may be wondering what exactly gets covered by your policy. Depending on your provider, it should cover the following:

  • Electrical and plumbing
  • Water heaters and a/c units
  • Furnaces
  • Heat and sump pumps
  • Appliances such as refrigerators, washer, and dryer, dishwasher, etc.
  • Flooring
  • Window treatment
  • The foundation, such as walls, staircases
  • Personal items, such as furniture, clothing, electronics
  • Up to $2,500 in valuables, such as artwork
  • Removal of debris
  • Detached Garages

The majority of policies cover these items, but it will depend on your preferences, too.

Keep in mind that flood insurance doesn’t cover everything that may get damaged. Many policies exclude items in basements. Luckily for Florida residents, that’s not something they need to worry about.

There are also caps on coverage – so if your damages exceed this cap, the rest will be out-of-pocket. Federal insurance caps at $250,000 per building and $100,000 for contents.

What if the value of your home and its contents exceeds these dollar amounts? If you want a larger protection plan, you’ve got options. There are many private insurance companies that are able to exceed these numbers.

Who Needs It?

Let’s put it this way. If you live in Florida, you could benefit from having flood insurance. Even properties not in high-risk zones have the potential to get hit by severe weather.

Most renter’s and homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flood damage. So, if you’re a resident in the state, you should consider looking into it.

Even if you live in an area with low or moderate risk, your home is 5 times more likely to experience a flood than a fire. And with insurance rates being as low as $400-500 a year, it’s priceless peace of mind.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, offers a tool to find out your home’s flood risk. FEMA offers a current flood map that is as easy as entering your address.

Is your home in a moderate to high-risk zone?

Then your mortgage agreement may actually require that you have it. Low-risk zones may be exempt from this rule, but keep in mind its benefits.

It’s not common for a president to make a Major Disaster Declaration. In this case, the government chips in for certain expenses. But this only occurs when damages are severe enough to need the combined efforts of state and federal government.

And here is when the quote, “Better safe than sorry” applies!

How Much Does It Cost?

This depends on many factors. FEMA names the variables that go into pricing:

  • Your home’s proximity to water
  • The elevation of your home
  • Its flood zone
  • The age and construction of your home
  • Your home’s value
  • If in an apartment, what story yours is on

Because of these variables, some cities have much higher premiums than others. Does your home lie right next to a beach, lake, river, or spring? Then your insurance is likely to cost much more than one that is more inland.

We mentioned an annual rate sitting in the $400-500 range for low-risk homes. This is a good starting point to consider. If you live in the Florida Keys, your premium will probably be much higher than this, as you’re high risk.

The main thing to consider here?

Not the cost of the insurance, but the cost of potential damages should something bad happen. Damages can far exceed paying annual insurance, making it a worthwhile investment.

How to Find the Best Coverage

You can get coverage in one of two ways – through federal or private insurers. Private insurers either supplement federal or replace it altogether. Once again, this depends on the type of policy you need.

It’s typical for some private insurers to offer a lower rate than federal insurers. This is for many reasons, such as fewer add-on costs. This can be something like paying for a professional to inspect your elevation level.

Private insurers may also cover relocation expenses, should you have to move while your home is getting repaired. It’s not common for federal insurers to cover this cost.

Compare quotes, ask questions, and check out different companies before settling on one. Base your decision on your financial situation, as well as your home’s build and location.

Before insuring, do your research – the more info you’re armed with, the better.

Insure Your Home with Flood Insurance

Are you considering whether to invest in Florida flood insurance? Keep a few things in mind.

First, if there’s damage done, it’s too late. Second, most insurance doesn’t take effect until 30 days after a policy purchase. That means that now is the best time!

While we’re on the subject of insurance, what else could you protect yourself from? Check out our product list to learn about anything from life insurance to liquor liability!