Flood Insurance

There's something you should know: Flood losses are not covered by your homeowners insurance policy.

Floodwaters have the power to damage not only your home and sense of security, but also your financial future. How can you protect your most important investment in case of flooding?

You should also understand that flood insurance isn't just for homes in high-risk areas. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) says that all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods in the past five years, and that more than 20 percent of the claims it handles come from the moderate- to low-risk regions. Many witnessed the devastation from severe flooding in the South this year while thousands of resident lost everything because they didn't think they would ever need flood insurance.

Florida is a high risk state for flooding because of the elevation and saturation of canals, waterways, massive lakes and the everglades. Recently several areas in South Florida were exempt from the flood zones but many still carry Florida flood insurance for their peace of mind. Flood insurance is relatively inexpensive compared to your Florida Homeowners Insurance policy. You can go to FEMA to see if you are in or near a flood zone by entering in your address and using their flood zone map.

Option 1: Hope that you'll receive Federal disaster relief if a flood hits.
Many people wrongly believe that the U.S. government will take care of all their financial needs if they suffer damage due to flooding. The truth is that Federal disaster assistance is only available if the President formally declares a disaster. Even if you do get disaster assistance, it's often a loan you have to repay, with interest, in addition to your mortgage loan that you still owe on the damaged property.

Most importantly, you must consider the fact that if your home is flooded and disaster assistance isn't offered, you'll have to shoulder the massive damage costs alone. The bottom line is that if you're looking for secure protection from financial loss due to flood damage, Federal disaster assistance is not the answer.

Option 2: Buy flood insurance and stay protected no matter what.
When disaster strikes, flood insurance policyholder claims are paid even if a disaster is not Federally declared. Flood insurance means you'll be reimbursed for all your covered losses. And unlike Federal aid, it never has to be repaid.

In general, a policy does not take effect until 30 days after you purchase flood insurance. So, if the weather forecast announces a flood alert for your area and you go to purchase coverage, it's already too late. You will not be insured if you buy a policy a few days before a flood.

Fiorentino Insurance Group provides Flood Insurance for residents near Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Boynton Beach, Palm Beach, Wellington, Lighthouse Point, Parkland and the surrounding areas.