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Flood Insurance At A Glance

 

 

 Flood insurance usually is a separate policy designed to help protect your home and belongings if they are damaged in a flood. Standard property insurance policies, such as homeowners insurance, typically do not cover flood damage. 

Here are some things to consider about flood insurance:

 

IS FLOOD INSURANCE NECESSARY?

In some cases, you may be required to have flood insurance. If you own a home on land that is at high risk of flooding, your mortgage lender may require you to purchase flood insurance, says FloodSmart.gov.

Flood insurance isn't just for homes in high-risk areas, though. The Federal Emergency Management Agency(FEMA) says that all 50 states have experienced floods, and that more than 20 percent of the claims it handles come from the moderate- to low-risk regions.

WHO CAN BUY FLOOD INSURANCE?

Flood insurance is generally available to people in communities that participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Flood insurance policies can be purchased through local insurance agents by homeowners, business owners and renters who want protection for their homes, buildings and belongings. (Landlords can buy separate flood insurance policies to help protect the home.)

WHAT DOES FLOOD INSURANCE COVER?

So, what does a flood policy help protect? FEMA says you can purchase coverage to help protect your home, your personal belongings, or both. Here are some of the basics for these two types of coverage:

Building property coverage

  • What it helps protect: The physical structure of your home and its foundation; plumbing and electrical systems; central air and heating systems; attached bookcases, cabinets and paneling; and a detached garage (other detached structures need their own policy).

  • How it typically pays out: Replacement cost basis (what it would take to repair the home in today's dollars) for a primary residence and actual cash value (which factors in depreciation) for a vacation home.

  • Maximum coverage limit: $250,000

Personal contents coverage

  • What it helps protect: Clothing, furniture and electronics; curtains; some portable appliances; freezers and the foods within them; and certain valuables, like art (up to a specified limit).

  • How it typically pays out: Actual cash value basis (takes depreciation into account).

  • Maximum coverage limit: $100,000

  • Find an agent here

HOW DO I PURCHASE FLOOD INSURANCE?

We can help you purchase a flood insurance policy from the NFIP. Give us a call at (239) 593-7333. 

You'll typically need to wait 30 days for your policy to go into effect, though there are some exceptions. For instance, if you purchase a flood insurance policy at the same time you take out a mortgage, the insurance may go into effect immediately, according to FEMA.

WHAT'S NOT COVERED BY FLOOD INSURANCE?

Equally important is knowing what's not covered by flood insurance. Here are a few examples of the types of property and expenses that fall outside the scope of a basic flood insurance policy, according to the NFIP:

  • Moisture or mold/mildew damage that "could have been avoided by the homeowner"

  • Currency, precious metals and paper valuables, like stock certificates

  • Outdoor property such as decks, fences, patios, landscaping, wells and septic systems, and hot tubs and pools

  • Living expenses, like temporary housing (if flood damage deems your home uninhabitable).

  • Cars and other self-propelled vehicles (but your auto insurance may offer some protection for your car if you have comprehensive coverage).

In addition, flood insurance provides limited, if any, coverage for below-ground rooms like crawl spaces and basements, and their contents, the NFIP says. Some items in these spaces (like the furnace) are typically included under building coverage. Others (like the washer/dryer) are usually covered under personal contents coverage. And some items ─ like your personal effects ─ may not be covered at all when they're kept in below-ground rooms.

Talk to an agent to help make sure you're clear about the coverage details, exclusions and limitations of a flood insurance policy and to help you make the right choices for your situation.

Of course, you should also remember that a flood isn't the only potential source of water damage to a home. That's why, in addition to understanding the potential benefits of flood insurance, you should also review the coverages offered by your homeowners insurance policy.

Armed with the knowledge and insurance coverages that are right for you, you'll go a long way toward protecting your home against water damage.

Article from: allstate

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Hurricane Season Predictions 2019

 

If you're planning a trip to Florida this August, September, or October, you should be especially cautious when visiting coastal cities. As an added precaution, you can download the Hurricane app from the American Red Cross to get up-to-date information on current tropical storm movement that may affect your trip.

What Hurricane Season Means for Vacation Plans

While it's unlikely that you will be visiting Florida during a hurricane, if you're planning a trip between August and November, you might consider reserving a room at a hotel that offers a hurricane guarantee or paying a little extra for travel insurance on your flights. This way, even if a weather-related emergency cancels your plans, you'll get a full refund or equivalent rescheduling.

You should also keep in mind that hurricanes don't have to make landfall to put a damper on your summer vacation as even tropical storms bring high winds and heavy rains to Florida coastline. Before you pack for your trip, you should check the latest weather forecasts to plan your clothing and accessories. You might want to pack an umbrella just in case because late summer and early fall is particularly rainy across the state.

Predictions for the 2019 Season

A number of meteorological organizations and weather stations often issue predictions on how they expect the next hurricane season to pan out based on data from previous years. However, these predictions are rarely accurate—especially in volatile years like 2016 and 2017.

National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA): NOAA predicts a “near-normal” 2019 Atlantic hurricane season with up to 15 named storms with winds of at least 39 mph. But, of these, NOAA predicts, four to eight could turn into hurricanes of 74 mph or greater and two to four of these storms could strengthen into major Category 3, 4, or 5 storms. So "normal," doesn't exactly mean quiet.

Tropical Storm Risk: The TSR (Tropical Storm Risk) anticipates "a season with slightly below-norm activity."

Accuweather: AccuWeather forecasters are predicting 2019 to result in a near to slightly above-normal season with 12 to 14 storms, with five to seven of those becoming hurricanes, and two to four of those storms having the potential to become major hurricanes.



Article from Trip Savvy: https://www.tripsavvy.com/how-often-do-hurricanes-hit-florida-3266726

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Hurricanes and Flood Insurance: What Homeowners Should Know

 

To protect your home against hurricane and flood damage, purchase flood insurance.

 

This article written by Ron Leshnower breaks down information about homeowners insurance and hurricanes including storms and flooding so well. Check it out! 

 

Here's how to get flood insurance, and what it will and won't cover. (For general information about homeowners' insurance, read Nolo's article Homeowners' Insurance: What You Need to Know.)

Get Flood Insurance Coverage for Property and Contents

A flood insurance policy through the NFIP can provide maximum coverage of $250,000 for property and $100,000 for contents. (Property and contents coverage must be purchased separately, even though they may form part of the same policy.) If you want additional coverage, you can purchase excess flood insurance from private insurers. The average flood insurance policy costs less around $700 per year, according to the NFIP.

If you buy a home in a designated high-risk flood zone and get a mortgage loan from a federally regulated or insured lender, your lender must require that you purchase flood insurance.

If you live in a zone that's been designated moderate- or low-risk, you don't need to buy flood insurance for your lender's sake -- but you may want to do so anyway, especially if your own observations indicate that the official designation on your area are out-of-date (a common problem). According to FEMA, almost 25% of all flood insurance claims come from areas with low-to-moderate flood risk. The good news is that you'll qualify for a preferred-risk policy. The premiums for this type of policy start at only $137 per year (for both property and contents).

Here's what flood insurance pays out for each type of property covered:

  • Contents. Flood insurance pays actual cash value (not the most generous amount -- it means the cost to replace the damaged or lost property based on its actual, depreciated value as used goods).

  • Property. You can opt for replacement cost coverage (the cost to replace the damaged or lost property with new property, without regard to depreciation) if you're insuring a single-family home that is your primary residence. Available coverage is at least 80% of the full replacement cost of the building (an amount that's set in advance for your property) or the maximum available under the NFIP.

Know What Flood Insurance Doesn't Cover

A good flood insurance policy can be a financial lifeboat following a destructive event such as a hurricane. But flood insurance doesn't cover everything. Before buying, you should know about the following key restrictions and limitations, which are specific to flood insurance.

 

Water Must Have Come From Outside Your Home

If something breaks or malfunctions inside your home -- for instance, pipes freeze and burst or a toilet overflows -- and this leads to flooding, your flood insurance policy won't apply. However, your homeowners' policy should cover these types of losses. Ask your agent or broker to give you the lowdown.

Swimming Pools and Landscaping Aren't Covered

If something goes wrong with a swimming pool on your property and this causes your home to sustain flood damage, your flood insurance policy won't apply. Also, don't expect any reimbursement for flood damage to flower beds, vegetable gardens, trees, or other landscaping on your property.

Small Floods Don't Count

To be considered a flood, the water that causes damage must have covered at least two acres or have affected at least one other property. Also, if your home sustains any mold or mildew damage that you could have prevented from occurring, your policy won't cover such damage.

Living Expenses or Business Interruption Aren't Covered

Your flood insurance policy won't pay you for any living expenses you may incur (such as renting a hotel room until your property is fixed). Also, you won't recover any financial losses caused by business interruption (if you operated a business out of your home) or any other loss of your home's use.

Money and Important Papers Aren't Covered

Your policy won't pay for the value of any currency, precious metals, stock certificates, and other valuable papers that get destroyed in a flood.

Improvements and Most Contents in Below-Ground Areas Aren't Covered

Your flood insurance policy won't cover any improvements you've made to your basement, such as finished walls or floors. Also, almost all personal property (including clothing, computers and electronic equipment, kitchen and office supplies, and furniture) located in basements or other areas of your home below the lowest elevated floor aren't covered.

If You Want Coverage, Act Now

Unlike other types of insurance, flood insurance coverage doesn't kick in on day one. With few exceptions, you must wait 30 days after you first purchase a flood insurance policy before your policy will take effect. So the longer you delay looking for coverage for your home, the greater your risk of suffering a loss before your policy is actually in place.

 

Even if the next hurricane season is months away, you could still benefit from getting a flood insurance policy sooner. In addition to damage from hurricanes, a flood insurance policy will also protect you from losses from other causes, such as heavy or prolonged rainstorms, coastal storm surges, snow melt, clogged storm drainage systems, levee dam failures, and mudslides.

 

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