When it Comes to Flooding, Florida’s Risk is Real
~ All Floridians are subject to flooding - one of the costliest types of disasters ~
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – As Floridians are approximately 30 days from the start of the 2019 Atlantic Hurricane Season, Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis and Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier are reminding consumers to start preparing now, if they haven’t already. Consumers should review their insurance policies, understand their coverages and secure flood insurance coverage as soon as possible. Typically, there is a 30-day waiting period before a flood policy takes effect, so it is vital to act now.
The Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) has proactively worked alongside CFO Patronis’ office to expand Florida's private flood insurance market. As of April 30, 2019, the number of insurers eligible to write private flood insurance in Florida increased from 20 to 29, a 45 percent increase since June 2017. Private carriers have written more than 62,000 personal primary flood insurance policies in Florida, a 169 percent increase since June 2017. This coverage is usually offered at prices similar to or lower than those of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), providing more consumer choice and an alternative to the federal program.
Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said, “The 2017 Hurricane Season impacted virtually every county in Florida, with Hurricane Irma resulting in more than $8.6 billion in insured losses. Last year, Hurricane Michael caused more than $6.3 billion in insured losses in the Panhandle alone. It is important to start preparing now and understand your insurance coverages and needs. Review your policy and add any coverage you think you may need, such as flood insurance. Remember, flooding is not just a coastal concern and just one inch of water in your home can cause over $25,000 in repair damages.”
Commissioner Altmaier said, “If you live in Florida, you are subject to flooding and are at risk of falling victim to one of the costliest types of disasters. According to the NFIP, the average flood insurance claim payment in 2017 was more than $90,000 and a vast majority of homeowners are not adequately covered for flood damages. Floridians must review their insurance policies, understand their coverages and secure flood insurance as they prepare for the 2019 hurricane season.”
Most homeowners’ insurance policies do not provide coverage for flooding and this coverage must be purchased separately through a private insurance company or the federally-administered NFIP. Flood insurance coverage can often be purchased directly from a consumer’s existing insurance agent or company. For a list of private market flood insurance writers in Florida, click here.
For more information, please visit OIR’s Flood Insurance webpage, CFO Patronis’ Hurricane Season Preparedness webpage, or contact CFO Patronis’ Insurance Consumer Helpline by calling 1-877 MY-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236).