If you own or rent a home in Florida, flood insurance is crucial. Floods cause millions of dollars in damage to homes throughout the U.S. every year with Florida receiving the brunt of these incidents. Living along the coast means you run an increased chance of bad storms causing flooding in your area. Aside from the storm damage itself, standing flood water can cause disastrous damage to your belongings and the home itself.
Are Floods Covered by Home Insurance?
Contrary to popular belief, flood damage is not covered by a basic home insurance policy. Home insurance policies often exclude damages caused by floods or earthquakes, meaning you will need to find a reliable insurer who offers flood insurance to purchase separately. Living without this insurance means that any flood damage you may suffer has to be repaired all out of pocket without the help of a policy.
What Does Flood Insurance Cover?
Flood insurance covers your home’s structure and your personal belongings in case of a natural flood. This insurance includes coverage for items such as:
• Water heaters
• Built-in appliances (dishwashers, cooking stoves, etc.)
• Electrical and plumbing systems
• Cabinets, paneling and bookcases (if permanently installed)
• Personal belongings
Keep in mind that flood insurance typically only covers natural flooding. It won’t necessarily cause damage caused by a burst pipe unless directly related to a natural flood, especially if the burst occurs due to homeowner negligence. You may be able to purchase additional insurance to cover burst pipes and other incidents.
Not all home or flood insurance policies are created equal. Speak with your insurance agent about what is and is not covered by your insurance policy. It is crucial to remain protected wherever you is and no matter what time of year.
Is Flood Insurance Required in Florida?
In most cases, flood insurance is not required in Florida, especially for those not in high risk flood zones. If you live in a high risk flood area, however, your mortgage lender or landlord (if renting) may require you to carry flood insurance. Whether or not you live in a high risk flood zone, it is important to carry flood insurance to protect your home and belongings. Even homes and apartments in low to moderate-risk areas can suffer damage after a bad flood or storm.
Be sure to speak with your mortgage lender or landlord if you have questions about insurance requirements.