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CFO Sink Reminds Floridians Most Homeowners Policies Do Not Cover Flood Damages

6/24/2008

CONTACT: Kevin Cate or Brannon Jordan
(850) 413-2842
 
TALLAHASSEE– Florida Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink today urged Florida homeowners to review their insurance policies, reminding homeowners that standard homeowners insurance policies do not cover flood damages, even when the flood is caused by a hurricane.
 
A national consumer public opinion survey of 1,004 individuals, conducted by Opinion Research Corporation (ORC) during the period of May 15-18, 2008, revealed a growing number of residents in Gulf Coast states are non-renewing their flood coverage.
 
While residents in both the Northeastern and Western regions of the United States are seeing a growth in flood insurance policies, slightly fewer homeowners in the South now say they have flood insurance - 17 percent compared with 20 percent a year ago - according to the ORC poll. These findings are consistent with National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) data that shows an increase in the number of people non-renewing flood policies in Gulf Coast states.
 
The decrease in Gulf Coast flood policyholders comes three years after Hurricane Katrina inflicted massive damage - mostly from flooding - upon New Orleans and Mississippi, and just as floods are devastating homes and property in Iowa.  Oftentimes, victims without flood insurance lose everything.
 
Flood insurance is a special policy that is federally backed by the NFIP and available for homeowners, renters and businesses.  The standard flood insurance policy pays for direct physical damage to the insured property up to the replacement cost or actual cash value of actual damages or the policy limit of liability, whichever is less.  
 
Homeowners may purchase flood insurance covering up to $250,000 of flood damage to a home. A standard flood policy will cover structural damage, including damage to the furnace, water heater, air conditioner, floor surfaces (carpeting and tile) and debris clean-up. The contents of a home are not covered under a standard policy, but for an additional premium, homeowners may also purchase flood coverage for up to $100,000 of damage to personal property.
 
For more information about flood insurance, visit the NFIP Web site at www.floodsmart.gov.
 
As a statewide elected officer of the Florida Cabinet, Chief Financial Officer Alex Sink oversees the Department of Financial Services, a multi-division state agency responsible for management of state funds and unclaimed property, assisting consumers who request information and help related to financial services, and investigating financial fraud. CFO Sink also serves as the State Fire Marshal.