Flooding is one of the main things that can effect you in Florida that is not covered under your normal homeowners hazard policy. People often refer to flood in Florida as in a flood zone or not in a flood zone but in reality the whole state of FL is considered a flood zone its just broken up into high risk and low risk.
What is a flood?
Flood insurance covers direct physical loss caused by “flood.” In simple terms, a flood is an excess of water on land that is normally dry. Here’s the official definition used by the National Flood Insurance Program.
A flood is “A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or of two or more properties (at least one of which is your property) from:
- Overflow of inland or tidal waters;
- Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source;
- Mudflow*; or
- Collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or similar body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels that result in a flood as defined above.”
*Mudflow is defined as “A river of liquid and flowing mud on the surfaces of normally dry land areas, as when earth is carried by a current of water…”
If you are in a low risk zone your lender is not going to require you to have flood insurance but it is a very valuable coverage that should be considered. Just 1 inch of flooding in your home can cost $25,000 or more of damage to your home, according to FEMA’s Estimated Flood Loss Potential. Please visit https://www.floodsmart.gov/flood-insurance-cost/calculator to view this handy flood calculator to see how much flood damage could cost you.
www.floodsmart.gov states that from 2014 to 2018 40% of the NFIP flood insurance claims were NOT in a high risk flood zone. That is close to half! 1/3 of those people had to apply for federal disaster assistance because they were not prepared. The Federal disaster assistance is a loan that must be repaid with interest, so not something you want to rely on. Imagine if your home was damaged during a hurricane and the claims adjuster informed you that some of that damage was caused by rising water, and you are responsible for repairing your home from the water line down, If it isn’t within your budget to pay out of pocket for those repairs and replacements, you should definitely to look into flood insurance.
When you are in a low risk zone the NFIP has lower preferred risk rates set that you can select from and they are very easy to purchase with minimal underwriting requirements and they do not require any costly inspections that you have to pay out of pocket for. They start at just $193 for the year and go up to $516 for the max coverage. This is a small price to pay for the peace of mind of protecting one of your biggest investments. FEMA requires a 30 day waiting period ff not being done during a loan transaction so this is not a last minute coverage you can purchase with a hurricane or bad weather on its way.