Things To Help After Hurrican Ian
Free Hurricane Resources, Flood Insurance & FAQs
Hurricane Ian wreaked havoc on many individuals and businesses. Even though the storm has passed, many people are suffering from losses and the negative aftermath of the hurricane. Many people are wondering which personal items are covered by insurance and where to go for help. Another big question is, “Do I Need Flood Insurance?” and what is the difference between homeowners’ insurance and flood insurance?
We are including a list of free resources, examples of damage covered by insurance policies, and a reputable insurance agency to consider when purchasing a policy. All of us at Brett M. Bressler, Attorneys at Law, want to provide information and helpful resources for our clients and community partners who are either in need of assistance or trying to help others after this natural disaster. We hope this information will help those impacted during this difficult time. Connect with us and sign up for our email updates by clicking HERE.
Difference Between Homeowners’ and Flood Insurance
It’s important to understand the difference between homeowners’ insurance and flood insurance to make an educated decision on which insurance and how much to purchase. While homeowners’ insurance may pay for water damage due to broken pipes, it does not cover flood damage. Flood insurance is a separate policy that can cover your home, business, and personal belongings when they are damaged due to flooding.
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is administered through FEMA. Florida leads the nation in the number of NFIP policies in force. To qualify for flood insurance, a community must join the NFIP and agree to enforce sound floodplain management standards. To find out if your community participates, visit floodsmart.gov, contact the local emergency management office, or call your insurance agent. NFIP policies typically take 30 days to become active, so it is important to plan ahead when considering an NFIP policy.
Florida also leads the nation in the development of the private flood insurance market, which has grown steadily since 2017. The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) provides a list of flood insurers on its website LINK. Private flood policies can be written as a standalone policy or as an endorsement of a homeowners’ policy.
For examples of what a typical homeowners’ policy covers compared to a flood insurance policy, please click HERE to view our comparison chart.
2. Do I Need Flood Insurance?
If you own any type of property, even if you are outside the high-risk flood area, you should consider purchasing flood insurance for protection and peace of mind. Some property owners are required to purchase flood insurance if they live in a high-risk area. However, even when not required, it’s still a good idea to consider purchasing flood insurance. A benefit of owning flood insurance is that claims are paid whether or not there is a Presidential Disaster Declaration. Not only will flood insurance cover property and possessions damaged by flooding, but it will also deliver peace of mind by knowing that your belongings are protected.
When buying an insurance plan, it is important to hire a reputable insurance agent. Central Florida employs many reputable insurance companies and brokers. We refer many of our clients to Debbie Liebknecht, Certified Insurance Counselor and Managing Director of the Hilb Group. You can reach her directly at email@example.com or via phone at 407-703-1109. For more information on their services, you can visit their website.
3. Free Resources for Hurricane Assistance
Many families and individuals have been affected by Hurricane Ian. Local Central Florida companies and Nation-Wide organizations are helping by providing free resources.
– Download the FEMA mobile app HERE
– Apply for disaster assistance at DisasterAssistance.gov.
– Call 800-621-3362 from 7 am to 11 pm Eastern Standard Time
– Small Businesses to apply for the “Florida Small Business Emergency Bridge Loan Program” by visiting FloridaJobs.org/EBL.
– Visit the local FEMA Disaster Recovery Center, located at Barnett Park (4801 W. Colonial Dr. in Orlando).
4. Insurance FAQs
- Who can purchase flood insurance? Flood insurance is available to homeowners, condo owners, renters, and businesses.
- Can flood insurance be purchased during Hurricane Season? Yes. However, if a consumer is looking for flood insurance in advance of a known storm, it is important to consider that some policies take time to take effect. OIR encourages all consumers to plan well in advance.
- How much does flood insurance cost? The price for flood insurance varies by provider and proximity to flood zones. NFIP coverage is typically around $700 a year in high-risk areas. Property owners located in low to moderate-risk areas should ask their agents if they are eligible for the Preferred Risk Policy, which provides flood insurance protection at a lower cost than a standard policy in a high-risk area. Consumers are encouraged to shop around and contact their agent for the coverage that best suits their needs.
- What type of coverage is included with flood insurance? Generally, NFIP standard flood insurance policies pay for direct physical damage to the insured property up to the replacement cost or actual cash value (ACV) of actual damages or the policy limits of coverage, whichever is less. Private insurers may have higher limits or broader coverage than NFIP policies. For private flood policies, be sure to speak with the insurer or agent regarding coverage.