We’ve had a wild ride in the past two months, and it looks like we could be facing more storms teeing up in the South Atlantic. At the moment, the 10 year lull between major storms seems less like a reprieve and more like Mother Nature’s “Gotcha, suckers!” There are some questions if Florida’s private flood insurance market can withstand the flood of claims that are going to pour in. For those of us long-term residents we remember how the insurance companies bailed on us after major storms damaged Florida homes, their stock rating, and their bottom line. Those who remember history are always called cynical; at least until history repeats itself.
What Is the Cost of Not Having Flood Insurance in Florida?
The mind blowing truth of the matter is that when hurricane Irma hit, two thirds of the homes in South Florida’s highest risk areas did not have flood insurance. That is over 860,000 homes. Simply put, in a lot of cases unless your mortgage company requires you to carry flood insurance, any number of people opt to go without. Those who have paid off their homes also have the option of dropping flood insurance, even if they are in the highest risk areas. A number of people also dropped their flood insurance when flood zones were reconfigured, and they were removed from a higher risk area to a lower risk area. People figure that they will be covered for any damage to their home under your homeowner’s policy.
But your homeowners policy doesn’t work that way.
Your homeowner’s policy only covers water coming from inside the house, such as from a broken pipe or a busted hose on your washing machine. Flood insurance is meant to cover water coming from outside of the home, and even an inch of water in the home can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage. Even just one inch of water in your home can require you to replace floor joists, subflooring, carpet or laminate, baseboards, wiring, drywall up to five feet from the flood level, furnishings, insulation, and pay for water remediation so that your home doesn’t turn into a petri dish for mold and mildew. This leaves alone any damage to a crawlspace or slab foundation. If your foundation is compromised, you’re looking at a minimum four figure repair bill, or having to demolish and rebuild.
Now, how much would that cost versus the cost of flood insurance? Even if you are a contractor and could do it all yourself, you would be out tens of thousands of dollars in repairs alone, not to mention the loss of use of your home. And, no, your homeowners insurance will not cover replacing your personal possessions if they are lost in a flood. Instead of taking your chances versus a hurricane, come and talk to one of our independent Florida insurance agents. We can craft the coverage that you need, at a price that you can afford.