Understanding flood insurance
“Hurricanes and floods can endanger lives, economic viability and entire communities,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s largest independent homeowners insurance agency.
Seeing the destruction Hurricane Florence left behind in the Carolinas, is a heartbreaking reminder of the importance of flood insurance. According to data from Pew Charitable Trusts, between 2000-2017, flood related disasters accounted for more than $750 billion in losses in the U.S. Flood related disasters are the most common and most expensive disaster threat in the nation.
Pew Charitable Trusts also reports, when Hurricane Irma hit Florida last year, 14 percent of the 3.3 million households in the nine counties affected by the disaster had flood insurance. Leaving many Florida residents to come out-of-pocket for repairs and expenses.
“Most homeowners are unaware of the natural disasters covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy,” says Ellsworth Buck, Vice President of GreatFlorida Insurance, Florida’s principal independent homeowners insurance agency.
A standard homeowners insurance policy covers natural disasters such as wildfires, tornadoes and hail storms. Two natural disaster categories a standard homeowners insurance policy will not cover are floods and earth movements.
Floods are defined as rising water from excessive rainfall, hurricanes, storm surge, dam failure and a tsunami. Earth movements include earthquakes, landslides and sinkholes.
A homeowner might have a hurricane deductible included on their homeowners insurance, however it will not cover the flooding caused by a nearby lake that overflows during a hurricane. Experts with CNBC say a hurricane deductible typically ranges from one to five percent, depending on the specifics on your homeowners insurance policy. The percentage is based on your insured value, not the damage caused.
Flood insurance is available with GreatFlorida Insurance, through the National Flood Insurance Program. Also, additional disaster coverage is available for addition to a standard homeowners policy. Do not wait until the report of a storm is looming. It takes 30 days for flood insurance to go into effect.