The Future of Flood Insurance
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is set to expire on July 31, 2018, which is a problem for Floridians and anyone who lives in flood-prone areas. Especially since standard homeowner’s insurance policies don’t cover flood damage.
What is the National Flood Insurance Program?
Recognizing that most insurance policies don’t cover flood damage, the federal government established the NFIP to fill that gap in coverage. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) manages the program, which provides flood insurance and develops flood hazard zone maps.
This isn’t the first time the clock has almost run out on the NFIP. The government has continually extended the expiration deadline without addressing the underlying problems that threaten to drain the program of its funds.
What Happens if the NFIP Runs Out of Money?
The NFIP is about $24 billion in debt and still losing money. It’s unlikely that Congress will fix the program’s underlying problems before the July 31 deadline. The more likely scenario is that they will temporarily reauthorize the existing program — once again.
Millions of Floridians will lose their flood insurance if the NFIP runs out of money. And some will have trouble finding adequate coverage elsewhere. There are 22 Florida companies that offer private flood insurance, according to the state Office of Insurance Regulation. Four other companies offer policies covering losses that exceed the federal payout limit. But private insurers might not have adequate models about flood risk and pricing. In other words, Florida residents might not have the flood insurance that they need.
Why Is Flood Insurance a Big Issue in Florida?
Nationally, only half of the 10 million properties that need flood insurance actually have it, according to the NFIP.
Florida has more than three times as many homes in flood hazard zones than in any other state. In fact, Florida accounts for more than one-third of all flood insurance policies nationwide. That’s why the fate of the NFIP is a major concern here in the Sunshine State.
These facts shouldn’t be surprising to anyone who lives in Florida. It’s in all of our best interests to purchase flood insurance, especially for those in high-risk areas.
Preparing for Hurricane Season
Hurricane season officially began June 1 and runs through November 30. Three major hurricanes struck the U.S. in 2017, and forecasters predict that 2018 will be another above-average season. Purchasing flood insurance is one of the most important things homeowners can do to prepare for hurricane season. Keep in mind that most insurance policies don’t take effect immediately on the date of purchase. The sooner you delay in protecting your home from flood damage the more you risk take in being able to recover from future losses.
Contact Us Today
Contact a Fort Myers hurricane insurance attorney at The Pendas Law Firm today for a free consultation if your insurance company denies your flood damage-related claim. We will walk you through the terms of your policy and the claim appeals process.
The Pendas Law Firm also represents clients in the West Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Orlando, Tampa, Miami, Daytona Beach and Bradenton areas.