Are You Prepared for a Flood?

Sandbags blocking flood waters

Close shot of flood Protection Sandbags with flooded homes in the background

Florida Flood Preparation

Have you ever thought about doing some flood preparation for your property? Maybe purchasing flood insurance? If you’re located in an area that has been deemed a flood zone and have a mortgage on your property, it’s likely you’ve already heard about this type of insurance and have purchased it at the instruction of your lending institution.

Flood preparation is no joke. Many people who aren’t in flood zones don’t think they need this additional coverage that isn’t included with your homeowners or commercial property policies. You might think that because you’re not in a flood zone that the potential for risk isn’t there, however, according to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through FEMA more than 20% of flood claims come from properties outside high-risk flood zones. Choosing to have a flood policy could mean the difference in having coverage or having to pay out of pocket for damages to your entire home or business.

The NFIP estimates that just one inch of water in your home can cost more than $25,000 in damage. As mentioned previously, most homeowners, renters, and commercial property policies do not cover flood damage, as many consumers found out after last year’s hurricane season. This might seem like a simple question, but what exactly is the definition of a flood? The NFIP states that a flood is…

a general and temporary condition of partial inundation of 2 or more acres of normally dry land area or of 2 or more properties from:

  • Overflow of inland or tidal waters; or
  • Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source; or
  • Mudflow

This means any water that overflows from a body of water, such as a lake, river, or ocean, or rapidly rising water on the property is considered a flood and most likely not covered by your homeowners, renters, or commercial property policy. You might not have experienced flooding on your property before but that doesn’t mean it can’t happen. Changes in building development or drainage systems around your neighborhood or business district could affect your property causing an unexpected flood where normally that would not have been the case.

Flood preparation isn’t a distant concern. One of our agents knows a family who lives on Anna Maria Island. Their road leads out to the Gulf of Mexico and while they didn’t have a problem with flooding before, a house that was built last year has changed everything for them. The new property, built at the end of the street, has retaining walls to keep out water from their yard but this causes the water to pool up at the end of their road. During hurricane Irma last year, water rose to dangerous levels threatening to flood several homes at the end of the street and more. These residents had no reason to worry about the risk of flood before, but now that two or more properties were at risk during the storm the whole road of homes could be at risk depending on how much rain the next storm brings.

If you’re not sure if you have flood insurance, or would like to purchase a flood policy, call our office at 863-683-2228 and speak to your licensed representative to go over your coverages. Visit FEMA’s website for more information on the National Flood Insurance Program, and visit our blog to find out how you can better prepare yourself for the unimagineable.