Florida Homeowners without Flood Insurance
Of the people living in Florida’s four southernmost counties, there are 1.3 million homes located in high-risk flood areas, according to data collected by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Of those 1.3 million, more than 861,000 don’t have flood insurance.
The four southernmost counties are Broward, Miami-Dade, Monroe and Collier, which are home to several major cities — including Fort Lauderdale and Miami.
Standard homeowner’s insurance policies don’t cover flood damage, and, according to the state Office of Insurance Regulation, only 13 Florida companies offer private flood insurance and nine others offer policies covering losses that exceed the federal payout limit. Florida’s private flood insurance market only accounts for about 20,000 policies.
This is a significant exclusion for hurricane-prone places like Florida. There has already been tropical storm and hurricane activity in the Sunshine State this year, and hurricane season doesn’t end until November 30. There’s a potential for significant flooding damage, which not all property owners will be able to fix.
It is also significant considering that the NFIP is running out of money and is in desperate need of congressional reform. The NFIP was set to expire on September 30, 2017, but President Donald Trump recently signed a law that reauthorizes the program through December 8, 2017. It is unclear what the federal government will do when the next expiration date comes up.
More Flood Insurance Policy Facts and Figures
Even with so many homeowners lacking flood insurance, Florida still accounts for more than one-third of all flood insurance policies nationwide. Here are a few other facts pertaining to Florida’s flooding risks and flood insurance:
- Florida has 1,350 miles of coastline and about 2.5 million homes located in hazard zones (1.3 million of which are in the four southernmost counties). That’s more than 3 times as many homes in hazard zones than any other state.
- In Florida’s 38 coastal counties, only 42 homes have flood insurance.
- In the past five years, Florida’s total number of flood insurance policies has fallen by 15 percent, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
- The average annual premium for residents living in Horseshoe Beach, a tiny town in Dixie County, is $4,200. In most Florida cities the average annual premium runs between $300 and $500.
Nationally, only half of the 10 million properties that need flood insurance actually have it, according to Roy Wright, who administers the NFIP. Homeowners with federally backed mortgages who live in high-risk areas are required to have flood insurance, but lenders don’t always follow up.
It is in your best interest to purchase flood insurance, especially if you live in a high-risk area.
Contact Us Today
Contact a Fort Lauderdale insurance attorney at The Pendas Law Firm today for a free consultation if your property has flood damage during a hurricane or another weather event. We will guide you through the insurance claims process and help you recover for your losses.
The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the Tampa, Orlando, West Palm Beach, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Miami, Daytona Beach and Bradenton areas.