Volume 3 Number 13
March 27, 2006

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It is important that property owners and renters living and doing business in Florida purchase flood insurance before the next hurricane season. Flood damage is not covered by homeowners insurance, commercial insurance or tenants insurance and flood insurance is a major part of preparation for hurricane season.

The storms of 2004 and 2005 taught Florida residents that property is vulnerable wherever it is located in the state, not just on the coast. While the risk is higher if the property is in an area designated as a flood zone by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), national flood insurance is available for property in all zones - low, moderate and high risk. The cost of the insurance is less in low- to moderate-risk areas.

Inland flooding can occur almost immediately and even a small amount of flooding can cause significant risk and damage. As tropical storms move inland, rainfall dumped in short timeframes can result in flash flooding that can last up to a week or more. Just six inches of moving water can sweep a person off his or her feet, and only a few inches of water can cause thousands of dollars of damage to homes and businesses.

Flood insurance is easy to obtain and is sold by most insurance agents. There is a standard 30-day waiting period before the insurance is in effect, so act now to protect your property. 

  • Homeowners can purchase up to $250,000 of coverage, plus an additional $100,000 to cover their home's contents.
  • Business owners can purchase up to $500,000 of coverage, plus an additional $500,000 for the building's contents.
  • There is no payback requirement for flood insurance settlements.
  • The average flood insurance premium is around $450 per year.
  • Flood insurance policies must be renewed every year.

Visit www.FloodSmart.gov or call 1-800-427-2419 to learn how to prepare for floods, how to purchase a National Flood Insurance Policy and about the benefits of protecting homes and property against flooding. The toll-free number and Web site provide flood insurance resources and information, including tools to find an agent and estimate the cost of insurance premiums.