If you live in South Florida, you’re probably well aware of the amount of rain our part of the Sunshine State gets, despite the nickname. Low elevation and proximity to the ocean make our area particularly vulnerable to frequent floods, even in places that don’t have excessive rainfall.
Many renters and homeowners don’t realize that their home insurance policy does not automatically include flood insurance coverage. Instead, they often find out after tragically losing their home and personal belongings to a devastating deluge.
You can prevent something like this from happening to you by reviewing your existing homeowners insurance policy or looking at policies with better coverage. To do this kind of comparison, work with an experienced insurance agent from The Gordon Agency. As an independent insurance broker, we do not represent a single insurance provider, so we can help you shop for the best policies and prices.
Why Do You Need Flood Insurance?
Whether you’re a renter or a homeowner, likely, you don’t have flood damage coverage unless you specifically asked to add it to your insurance policy.
Without flood insurance, you won’t receive any financial coverage if a sudden torrent rips through your home, damaging the structure and your personal belongings. You could face mountains of debt to rebuild and replace your property.
Some mortgages require a flood insurance policy, especially in areas with high flood risks. Even if your mortgage doesn’t require it, flood insurance is a wise, safe choice for those who don’t want to risk significant financial struggles in case of disaster.
What Does Flood Insurance Cover?
Flood policies typically cover the building (your home’s structure), the contents of the building (your personal property), or both. A flood insurance policy should help you rebuild your home and replace your things, including electronics, clothes, appliances, furniture, and other valuables.
Typically, two types of coverage are available:
- Actual cash value coverage, which pays the value of the damaged item after depreciation. You might have to pay out of pocket to replace things that were worth more when you bought them.
- Replacement cost coverage, which pays the full value of a new replacement item. This allows you to replace it with an item of equivalent value.
National Flood Insurance Program
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is a federal insurance plan provided by FEMA, the government’s emergency management agency. This is the flood insurance plan that most homeowners in the U.S. have, which you can get through many insurance providers throughout the country. While private flood insurance is available, the private providers can be more selective than the NFIP, depending on your property’s location and past flood damage.
Types of Coverage
The NFIP offers building coverage and contents coverage, but you must purchase them separately. For residential properties, the coverage limit for buildings is $250,000, and the limit for the contents is $100,000. Homeowners with high-value properties might need private insurance to cover the cost of rebuilding their homes and replacing their valuables.
The NFIP building insurance policy covers:
- Plumbing systems
- Permanent fixtures
- Walls and staircases
- Water tanks, pumps, etc.
The contents policy covers:
- Small appliances
- Jewelry and other valuables
Don’t wait until hurricane season to look for flood insurance for your home. For FEMA’s NFIP insurance coverage, you must wait 30 days from the day you purchased the policy for it to take effect. Exceptions to the waiting period exist, such as if you buy your flood insurance while changing or renewing your mortgage or if your home received damage from wildfire containment on federal land.
The NFIP policy term lasts one year, expiring one minute after midnight on the last day. However, you’ll have a grace period of 30 days after expiration, during which you can still make flood insurance claims. In that case, you must pay the renewal premium by the end of the period.
How Much Does It Cost?
NFIP flood insurances rates depend on three things:
- The location of your home
- The coverage you choose
- The deductible you decide upon
You can’t easily control the flood risk level for your home, but you can choose the coverage and deductible that works the best for you. South Florida residents are more vulnerable to heavy rain and storms that cause flooding, so purchasing appropriate coverage for your property is essential. Choosing a higher deductible will get you a lower monthly or quarterly premium, but you’ll also pay more if disaster strikes.
One of our experienced South Florida insurance agents can help you find the right flood damage coverage for an affordable price. At The Gordon Agency, we have experience helping renters and homeowners in the area decide which policy works best for them, and we’ll gladly share our expertise with you.
Finding Florida Flood Insurance Near Me in South Florida
Are you looking for flood insurance in South Florida? At The Gordon Agency, we are an independent insurance agency in Boca Raton, FL, dedicated to providing our clients with comprehensive coverage for every potential crisis. We work with numerous highly rated insurance carriers to find protection that will fit your budget and protect your family and property.
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