The Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA) reports that flooding is the top natural disaster in America. Floods are common in Southwest Florida and in areas like Fort Myers with a higher flood risk, homes are twice as likely to be damaged by a flood than a house fire. Flooding causes over $2 billion of property damage every year across the U.S., and 25% of all flood claims are in low to moderate risk areas. Your home can become damaged in just one inch of flood water – here’s what you need to know about flood insurance and how to protect your home and family.
Flood insurance is a type of insurance that pays specifically for damage to property as a result of a flood. Floods can be the result of a natural disaster or they can be the result of an incident like a burst pipe. Homeowners pay monthly or yearly premiums and in the event of a flood, the insurance company pays a sum to the homeowner for the cost of incurred damages.
In Southwest Florida, flood insurance is extremely important to have. Hurricanes, tropical storms, and inches of rain are frequent visitors, all of which can cause moderate to severe flooding in just a matter of hours. Many of Southwest Florida’s cities are on the coast, putting them at a higher risk for flooding than cities that are more inland.
No. Your homeowner’s insurance will cover fires, tornados, hail, and other natural disasters, but it does not cover floods. This is because floods can cause hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage and may even potentially damage a home beyond repair. Flood insurance in Florida must be purchased separately from home insurance.
Floods can cause widespread damage across an entire home. With other natural disasters, only some parts of the home may be affected, such as the kitchen or a single bedroom. With flooding, it’s not uncommon for the entire home to be affected from the bottom up. Because flooding damages a home’s foundation, it’s often more difficult to clean up and repair than other types of damage. Florida flood insurance has two different types of coverage:
Personal property coverage pays for damage to:
Building property coverage pays for damage to:
The entirety of Southwest Florida is a flood zone; however, different areas have different risk levels. You’ll need to provide an insurance agency with your elevation certificate to determine what flood zone you live in – you should have received it at your home closing. Primary high risk flood zones are the riskiest, while preferred flood zones are less risky.
How much you pay for flood insurance depends on the risk of flooding in the area you live in, as well as the amount of coverage you elect to have. The riskier the area you live in, the higher your premiums are likely to be. Higher deductibles can lead to lower premiums, while lower deductibles will increase premiums but keep costs lower if you do need to make a claim.
All flood insurance policies, except for new home purchases, are subject to a 30-day waiting period before coverage becomes active. This prevents homeowners from purchasing flood insurance just prior to a hurricane or before reporting a flooded basement.
The Culbertson Agency offers flood insurance coverage for Southwest Florida residents. We take pride in providing our customers with great service, cost-effective monthly premiums, flexible payment plans, 24-hour access to a licensed insurance professional, and easy online payment and secure account management.
Call us today for more information about how to purchase a customized flood insurance policy at (239) 210-7710 (Naples) or (239)-210-7700 (Fort Myers). Serving the Fort Myers, Naples, Cape Coral, and Marco Island areas.