In some areas, flood insurance is extremely important in order to pay for extensive damages. Unfortunately, most homeowners’ policies don’t include flood coverage, leaving residents vulnerable to the element. Floods are one of the most common disasters in Florida and one of the most damaging, affecting around 14 million people in 2019 which resulted in millions of dollars’ worth of damage. Even just one inch of water can result in $25,000 needed in repairs. Florida isn’t the only state affected by this weather pattern, either. 98% of US counties are affected by floods, yet many people don’t carry flood insurance. Florida actually has the highest number of flood insurance carriers with around 1,759,052 flood insurance policies in the state.
Flood insurance comes as a separate policy and covers a wide variety of damages caused by floods, including mold. This coverage depends on the situation, however.
Mold that grows as a result of flood damage will be covered, but it must be determined that the mold did not grow out of negligence on the homeowners’ part. If flood damage only damages the first floor, a claim concerning mold in the upstairs bathroom untouched by the flood will likely be denied.
To prevent mold, it’s important to control the moisture. This can be difficult if you live near the coast. Be sure to keep an eye out for mold in your home and dry any wet spaces immediately. There are also mold-resistant products you can purchase to help control mold damage.
Other incidents or objects that flood insurance doesn’t cover include:
· Earthquakes or other earth movements, even if caused by a flood
· Business interruption
· Additional living expenses
· Loss of the insured property
· Unattached/outside structures (trees, decks, patios, fences, etc.)
In some cases, it may be cheaper to treat the mold instead of filing a flood insurance claim. Be sure to get an appraisal on the damage before filing a claim.
Is Flood Insurance Required?
Homeowners within certain areas, deemed high-risk zones, must carry flood insurance. High risk zones are areas that FEMA has dictated as likely to flood. In Florida, these areas are predictably around the coast. Not only the coast faces flood risks, however. Hurricanes and other disasters have often caused thousands of dollars in property damage across the state. 20% of flood insurance claims actually occur in areas with low to moderate flood risk.
What Does Flood Insurance Cover?
Flood insurance provides compensation for damages done to the:
· Insured building’s foundation and attachments, including garages, walls and staircases
· Home systems such as plumbing, water heaters, air conditioners and more
· Appliances (refrigerators, washing machines, freezers, etc.)
· Personal property such as clothing and furniture. This can be extended to cover a certain amount for valuables such as furs and jewelry.
You may also add excess flood insurance if you need coverage over $250,000. The amount of flood insurance you should purchase is based on the replacement value of the property and items you are insuring. Expensive homes should have higher limits than most.
How Much Does Flood Insurance Cost in Florida?
On average, a flood insurance policy costs $46 a month in Florida. This also depends on the area you live in, however. Areas with more history of floods will charge more for flood insurance. Residents in Tampa pay an average of $69.50 a month, for example. The age and build of your home will affect the rate of insurance premiums, as well. Considering the damage floods can and have done, it’s well worth the price to protect your assets in Florida.