Most of us look forward to the spring season as the weather warms up and various flowers begin to bloom. Of course, this also marks the peak time of the year for flash flooding in the U.S. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 75% of flash floods happen between late April and mid-September.
Floods are the most common and costly natural disaster in the United States. In fact, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has paid out over $50 billion in claims since its inception in 1968. Here in South Florida, it was only several weeks ago that we had a historic day of rainfall causing substantial flooding throughout Broward County. Despite the high risk of flooding, many people are still unaware of the importance of flood insurance or have misconceptions about what it covers.
Common misconceptions about flood insurance
- Homeowners insurance policies cover flood damage.: Most homeowners insurance policies do not cover flooding. Flooding is a separate peril that requires its own insurance policy.
- I don’t need flood insurance because I live in a low-risk area.: Flooding can happen anywhere, regardless of your location. In fact, according to the NFIP, nearly 25% of all flood insurance claims come from properties that are not in high-risk flood zones.
- I don’t need flood insurance because I’ll just get federal disaster assistance if my home floods.: Federal disaster assistance is not always available, and even when it is, it may not be enough to cover the full cost of repairs. In addition, you may have to repay any disaster assistance with interest.
- There’s nothing you can do to prevent flood damage.: There are ways to protect your home from water damage. For starters, improve drainage around your home by clearing leaves and debris from gutters, storm drains and downspouts. You can also install water sensors to alert you of water or leaks within your home. Lastly, you can also install a sump pump along with a battery backup at your property as well.
- Insurance can only assist you after an incident.: Many homeowners may not realize that their insurance will reimburse them for the cost of preventative steps taken at your home when flooding is imminent.
The bottom line is that flood insurance is an essential protection for anyone who lives in a flood-prone area. It is relatively affordable, and it could save you thousands of dollars in the event of a flood. To best determine your flood insurance needs, you should contact your insurance agent. Weather is quite unpredictable and it is important to never underestimate the risk of flooding.
Are you looking to buy or sell a property in South Florida? We can help! Contact Natasha at Live South Florida Realty, Inc. today! Also, be sure to download the free Florida Home Search app for your smartphone or tablet.