What You Don’t Know About Flood Damage Could Hurt You

House Flood Damage

Flood Damage is More Common than you Think

Since we’re just coming out of Florida’s dry season, Brandon and Tampa homeowners are probably not thinking about the dangers of flooding—and that could be a big mistake.

According to Floridadiaster.org, “Flooding is the most common and damaging natural disaster in the country.” And Florida’s geography and proximity to water make it especially vulnerable to flooding. Even so, in 2020, only 22 percent of homes in Florida were covered by flood insurance, according to one estimate.

Here are three misconceptions about flood damage that could hurt you:

“I don’t need flood insurance because I don’t live in a flood zone.”

Anywhere it rains, it can flood. In fact, about 25 percent of flood claims happen in low-risk areas. Florida’s flat terrain, long seacoast, and many lakes and rivers mean nearly the entire state is at risk for some type of flooding.

“My homeowners insurance will cover me if I have flood damage.”

Most homeowners policies do NOT cover flood damage—which for insurance purposes is defined as a sudden overflow of water that submerges land that is normally dry, and encompasses two or more acres or two or more properties. Flooding may come from inland or tidal waters, rapid accumulation or runoff of surface water such as from a heavy rainstorm, or from the collapse of land along the shore of a body of water allowing a flood to result.

Flood damage is so expensive that you’ll have a hard time paying for it without help from insurance. An inch of water can cause $25,000 worth of damage, and just 18 inches can damage your home enough to require significant repairs to everything from your electrical system to your appliances and cabinetry. Claim payouts from flood insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) average around $29,000.

“If I do have flood damage, FEMA will pay for it.”

Don’t count on it. In order to receive FEMA assistance, your area must receive a Presidential Disaster Declaration. If it doesn’t, you won’t be eligible for funds. In addition, FEMA’s Individuals and Households Program payout average is only about $5,100—far less that you’ll likely need if your home is damaged by flood waters.

Flood insurance options from L & M Insurance Group

With rainy season approaching (and hurricane season starting June 1), it’s time to consider buying flood insurance to protect your home and belongings from flood damage. Flood insurance is available through the federally-backed NFIP mentioned above, but private insurers are another way to go. Private flood insurance may be a better choice for you, depending on your situation. Private flood insurance may offer higher limits and broader coverage than that offered by the NFIP program.

Give L & M Insurance Group a call today at 813-672-4100 if you’d like to explore your flood insurance options. (Click here for a flood insurance quote.)