It is hurricane season again and it is time to talk about flood insurance. At this time of the year many clients want to discuss what their hazard policies cover in the event of hurricane damage. It’s important to stress to clients that flood coverage is not included in a standard hazard policy and must be purchased separately.
Hazard policies do cover for water that enters a property through an opening created by wind, but not for rising ground water from heavy rain, or water that overflows from a lake or river. Flood insurance applies to that area-wide flooding, covering multiple properties.
FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) regulates flood insurance policies. Insurance agents sell flood insurance policies, but regardless of the company purchased from, the rates will be the same if the coverages and deductibles are the same.
Every property in Florida is assigned a flood zone. When someone says that a property is in a “flood zone,” they usually mean that it’s in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) – an area more likely to flood. Areas less likely to flood are called “non-hazard” flood zones. However, 25 percent of all flooding that occurs each year occurs in a non-hazard flood zone. While a lender or insurance company will require their client to carry a “Standard” flood policy if the client’s property is in a SFHA, an owner of a property in a non-hazard flood zone is eligible for a “Preferred” flood policy with a variety of coverage limits available. If purchasing a “Preferred” policy, the homeowner will want to think ahead, because there is a 30-day waiting period between the dates that the flood insurance is applied for and when coverage actually begins. So don’t wait until you go outside and see a hurricane approaching, to buy flood coverage!
In summary, hurricane season is a good time to consider your need for flood insurance and discuss your options with your agent.
This article has been contributed by Kathy Longtin, insurance agent with P Fudge & Associates, Inc. Feel free to contact her at 321.972.9920 or firstname.lastname@example.org for further details and information.