No one needs to tell Florida residents about the risks they face from hurricanes. Indeed, such an assertion may result in a rebuttal that advances in structural engineering and building codes make living in the state safer than ever. While such advances make surviving a storm more likely, they often do not mitigate another major ancillary risk: property damage.
Property damage from storm surges can be particularly common (and costly). According to information shared by the Insurance Information Institute, Florida is home to six of the top 10 cities in the U.S at risk of storm surge damage. This makes it vital for local residents to know what to expect when dealing with flood damage.
Does homeowners insurance cover flood damage?
Many likely assume that compensation for any flood damage their home incurs from a storm comes from their homeowners’ insurance policy. However, that is not the case. Standard policies do not cover water damage from flooding (including flooding from storm surge). The same is true of renter’s insurance. To guarantee that one receives compensation for water damage following a hurricane, they must also purchase separate flood coverage.
Private insurers often offer flood insurance, as does the National Flood Insurance Program. Per the website NerdWallet.com, the average cost for a homeowners’ insurance policy is $2,155, while additional NFIP flood coverage averages $599.
When should one buy flood insurance?
Some might assume that they may be able to save themselves some money every year by only getting flood insurance when a storm seems imminent. Such an assumption will likely result in disappointment, however. Most coverage providers impose a 30-day waiting period from the time one’s purchases a policy to the date coverage becomes effective.