Floridians Advised To Acquire Flood Insurance Before Hurricane Season

Floridians prepare for tropical storms and hurricanes every year, with the season typically beginning on or around June 1.  Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty says new homeowners should acquire flood insurance before the stormy weather makes landfall, and also before flood insurance rates increase as scheduled on October 1.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) oversees flood insurance claims and payouts for homeowners, renters, and even business owners who register with the organization.  A typical flood insurance plan covers up to $250,000 for destruction to the property, and another $100,000 for damages to contents within the home.  Standard home insurance policies exclude coverage for flood damages, but homeowners can add-on an optional flood insurance plan.

Floods, of course, are a consequence of hurricanes within coastal communities.  McCarty reminds residents that nature is unpredictable.

“Regardless of the storm type, I strongly urge Floridians to prepare now and purchase flood insurance by May 1st, as a typical flood insurance policy takes 30 days to become effective.”

However, McCarty also reminds homeowners that flood insurance rates are expected to increase later this year.  The increase is part of the federal government’s decision in 2012 to extend the life of the NFIP until the end of September, 2017, under what is known as the Flood Insurance Reform Act.  The Act enforces higher insurance rates that accurately reflect the risks faced by homes in flood zones.

Homeowners taking out insurance now could be thanking themselves in a few months when the storms hit.