Why Homeowners + Flood Insurance = Best Hurricane Prep

Ever wondered if you truly need flood insurance in Florida? Perhaps your home isn’t  located in a high-risk flood zone (as designated by FEMA). Or maybe you’ve lived in the same spot for 20 years and no home flooding has occurred in all that time. It might seem silly to throw hard-earned cash at an unlikely problem – but the risk of a flood event at your home is not as inconceivable as it may seem.

 

The two most important things you should know about home flooding are:

 

  • Flood damage is not covered by your home insurance policy – you’ll need a separate flood insurance policy to be protected against losses due to rising water.

 

Flood insurance, it turns out, is a good idea for every Florida homeowner for several reasons, the most important of which are listed below. Ask your homeowners insurance agent about your flood insurance options. And, to help you complete your hurricane preparations this year, be sure to download the latest Edison Insurance Company hurricane guide to make sure you don’t forget anything!

 

1. Florida Is Prone to Flooding

 

Florida is particularly vulnerable to flooding due to its near-sea-level elevation, flat terrain, abundant rainfall, and extensive coastline. Indeed, the state is nearly surrounded by water. Florida averages about 54 inches of rain annually, making it one of the wettest states in the nation. In addition, widespread real estate development and urbanization has significantly reduced the amount of natural land available to absorb excess rainfall, adding to the flood risk throughout the state.

 

You might be tempted to think flooding only occurs during hurricane season. Not so! Flooding can easily occur in Florida due to heavy rain in a short amount of time; drainage problems at the home, street, or city/county-wide level; and sea level rise. Then there are king tides, which are exceptionally high tides when the moon is closest to the earth, such as during a new or full moon. King tides regularly flood coastal areas of the state for days at a time – an event known as sunny day flooding. We can expect today’s king tides to become an everyday occurrence in the future with additional sea level rise, according to the EPA.

 

Finally, improved flood risk modeling in 2020 means our predictive abilities have changed – and current federal flood maps currently underestimate flood risks in Florida and elsewhere. Between the better risk modeling tools and climate change, a case could be made there’s an increased risk of home flooding for everyone, everywhere.

 

2. Hurricanes Exacerbate the Already High Flood Risk in Florida

 

Hurricanes and tropical storms bring heavy rains and storm surges (when strong winds push water onto previously dry land), which can quickly lead to significant flooding throughout the state.

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National Ocean Service / National Weather Service graphic available for download from this webpage, https://oceanservice.noaa.gov/facts/stormsurge-stormtide.html

Florida is the most hurricane-prone state in the nation. Hurricanes make landfall in the Sunshine State nearly twice as often as in Texas, the next most hurricane-prone state. It’s no wonder! Florida's geographic position, with extensive coastlines on both the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico makes it particularly susceptible to hurricanes. Florida has experienced 125 hurricane landfalls from the early 1970s (when the Saffir-Simpson wind scale was developed) to 2022. The trend appears to persist, with the 2024 hurricane season looking like it will be one of the most active on record.

 

Storm surges and flooding are the most catastrophic parts of a hurricane. And, while coastal communities in Florida face the biggest home flooding threat, a storm surge can push a wall of water miles inland. 

 

3. Flood Damage Is Exorbitantly Expensive

 

A single home flooding event can be devastating – physically, emotionally, and financially. Flood damage can destroy your belongings, home, as well as reduce your property's resale value. And the cleanup costs involved can be outrageous.

 

The immediate financial burdens after home flooding may include the cost of repairing or replacing:

 

  • Electrical wiring, outlets, panels
  • Plumbing fixtures
  • HVAC
  • Interior walls, drywall, insulation
  • Flooring (carpet, hardwood, tile)
  • Eroded foundations
  • Furniture
  • Electronics: computers, TV, stereo
  • Appliances and machinery/tools (vacuum, lawn mower, etc.)
  • Sports equipment
  • Clothes, shoes, accessories
  • Art and decor 

                           

Mold is another very real concern after home flooding. Mold can start growing within 24 hours after exposure to water or moisture. While mold remediation can be pricey, it’s absolutely necessary to prevent further damage to your home and avoid the health risks associated with mold and mildew exposure.

 

The combination of direct damage, long-term effects, and secondary costs associated with home flooding contributes to making flood damage particularly expensive to manage and recover from.

 

According to FEMA, just 1 inch of water in your home can cause $25,000 in flood damage. Without flood insurance, you could face substantial out-of-pocket costs for the repair and replacement of flood-damaged property. With flood insurance, you’ll have help covering those costs so you can recover more quickly after home flooding.

 

Don’t Forget Flood Insurance Amid Your Hurricane Preparations

 

Given the high risk of home flooding in Florida and the high cost of repairing flood damage, securing a separate flood insurance policy is a practical choice for Florida homeowners during hurricane season.

 

If Edison Insurance Company or other carriers aren’t currently offering flood insurance, you still have options. The vast majority of flood policies in Florida are issued by FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Ask your agent how you can protect yourself against home flooding.

 

Not yet a policyholder with us? Explore the possibility of getting home insurance or condo insurance with Edison Insurance Company by getting an online quote right now

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