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The Florida Specialty Flood Program

Do I need flood insurance? Is that a trick question?

How much of your home and belongings could you afford to lose when heavy rains hit home?  Can you live without, or afford to replace—your home, your belongings, and your savings–unexpectedly when the downpour hits?

Heavy rain in Florida is almost normal…with extreme rainfall coming all too frequently due to El Nino, or Hurricane Season, as reported by Fox News just this past January, 2016, normally a dry month, but:

  • Central Florida and much of the rest of the state scored Top 10 rainfall amounts for the month.
  • Southwest Florida: January rainfalls broke records where “the total tally for the month was more than six times the average – at 12.98 inches.”
  • In Lakeland: Rainfall recorded totaled 6.04 inches, the fourth-wettest January and 3.4 inches above the long-term average.
  • Melbourne: A NWS forecaster noted “A general observation is the area had greater than 200% of its normal rain.” Melbourne had its second wettest with 7.8 inches.
  • Daytona Beach scored its third rainiest January with 7 inches.
  • Fort Myers got more than 2 inches of rain in one day on 2 occasions with the total monthly tally at more than six times the average – 12.98 inches!
Flood risk is very unpredictable—it depends on the weather. Are you ready to risk your home and family on something as fickle as that?

Especially with the extreme rain events we see almost daily in Florida and across the globe. In The Calamitous Climate Responsible for Florida’s Record Rainfall a Climate Change panel found “high confidence of a likely overall increase in extreme precipitation events” while the EPA noted that “in recent years a larger percentage of precipitation has come in the form of intense single day events.”

Is a 25% risk of flood loss an acceptable bet for your family?

One in 4 low- to-moderate risk flood zone areas will flood—how is your luck running?

  • Damage estimates from SC’s record breaking storm reported to have dumped between 15 – 20 inches of rain in 5 days, prompting 17,000 disaster aid applications totaling more than $50 billion.  SC Insurance officials felt the damage was “horrendous” and noted most properties were not in high risk flood areas, and lenders had not required flood insurance.
  • In Should You Drop Your Flood Insurance, the FEMA remapping that moved many Broward County properties into the low risk zone was described as “FEMA recalculating the probability of being in a flood event. They’re not saying no one will flood.  Anyone in South Florida who thinks they’re not in a flood zone is mistaken; we are all in a flood zone.”
Can you afford to insure yourself for flood loss?

The average flood loss is about $37,000, while the average annual flood premium is less than $1,000. Which check would you rather write?

From the Floodsmart.gov website tool The Cost of Flooding, the current estimate for 1 inch of water covering 2000 square feet is priced at $21,000; while at 1 foot of water that increases to a bill of $52,000. In the low risk zone the maximum coverage amount could cost less than $600—you could say that flood coverage is relatively cheap.

Ultimately you buy flood insurance to protect what is yours from the unpredictability of the weather. You buy it because your sense of responsibility won’t let you gamble with your family’s future. And only you know what you can live without or must replace.

Your answer to the important question: “Do I need to buy flood insurance” is …. YES.

Contact your local Florida Specialty Flood insurance agent, shown on your policy.  Or call one of our Florida Specialty Flood specialist to get a flood insurance agent at 800-820-3242.

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