Florida may be the Sunshine State, but hurricane season means rain–lots of it. Lots of rain can mean flooding for those living in low-lying areas (and most of Florida is a low-lying area. Go figure). While living in a flood zone is certainly no guarantee that your home will be damaged, it’s important to always have protection for the unthinkable. Here are 5 things you need to know about insuring your property against a flood.
Homeowner’s insurance doesn’t cut it:
Flood coverage in homeowner’s policies is so limited as to be nonexistent. Your policy may include “covered events” but these events are not what most people think of a flood. If your home is damaged during a hurricane and rain from the storm comes pouring in, your homeowner’s policy will probably cover it, but you’ll be on the hook for flooding due to storm surge, tides, and regular old rain.
It may be required:
Anyone with a federally-backed mortgage who lives in a flood zone designated by the NFIP as “high-risk” is required by law to hold flood insurance. You can’t buy a policy through the NFIP, but they do offer a referral service to put you in touch with an agent if you don’t already have one.
Escrowing is an option:
If you don’t want to deal with large, infrequent insurance payments throughout the year, you can pay your flood insurance along with your monthly mortgage payment. This way, your payments can be spread out over the course of the year, which can make budgeting much easier.
Not everything is covered:
All flood insurance policies are not created equal. Each one has a different coverage focus, the most common being building coverage and contents coverage. Building coverage is more concerned with protecting the structural elements of your home: walls, roofing, flooring, HVAC, electrical systems, and the like. Contents coverage insures items inside your home like furniture, valuables, and appliances. Carefully consider what parts of your home would be the most difficult to replace before deciding on a policy.
Be aware that flood insurance policies take 30 days to go into effect. Don’t put it off until the big storm of the year is a week away—get it now! You can’t put a price tag on peace of mind, especially when the storm surge starts rising.
Having flood insurance will keep your home safe and let you rest easy knowing that you’re prepared with whatever Florida weather throws at you. For more information on flood insurance and living in a flood zone, contact one of our Showcase team members. We’ll be happy to answer any questions you might have on keeping your home safe and dry.
Worried about keeping track of all your important documents in the face of a possible disaster? Learn about the benefits of an Emergency Binder and what you should be including right here in our blog: How To Create An Emergency Binder For Your Home.