Hurricane season in Florida is a bit like being a Chicago Cubs fan…you prepare for the worst, but hope for the best. So with the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season fast approaching, it’s important that Florida homeowners be prepared.
Flood Insurance vs. Homeowner’s Insurance
Hurricane season runs from June 1 through November 30 each year. 2013 is predicted to be an above-average hurricane season, so homeowners should be ready.
One of the most important things homeowners should consider is flood insurance. If you live in a specific flood zone, you’re likely already required by your lender to carry flood insurance. But every homeowner should understand what kind of water damage is covered by a homeowner’s policy vs. a flood insurance policy.
Floodsmart.gov is a good place to start. According to their National Flood Insurance Program Summary of Coverage (PDF), a flood is defined as “A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or of two or more properties (at least one of which is your property) from:
- Overflow of inland tidal waters
- Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source
- Collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or similar body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels that result in a flood as defined above
If you’ve been through a hurricane season or two in Florida, think of the tremendous amount of rain we sometimes get during a tropical storm or hurricane. If that runoff water reaches a level where it gets into your home, just homeowner’s insurance may not be sufficient.
Fortunately, there are lots of resources to help you decide if you need a separate flood insurance policy or not. At Floodsmart.gov, you’ll find information on flood facts, FAQs, and a flood insurance agent locator. A licensed insurance agent will be the best resource for you to determine your insurance needs.
You can also download a hurricane preparedness guide. But most importantly, when it comes to assessing your insurance needs, the worst thing you can do is take the approach of us hapless Cubs fans and “wait ‘til next year”.