Do You Have Flood Insurance?

 We’ve all seen images of the devastation that Hurricane (and later Tropical Storm) Harvey left in it’s wake with two landfalls and mind-boggling amounts of rainfall and flooding. The most recent count puts the rain dropped on Houston and the surrounding areas at 24.5 trillion gallons owater.
 
Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the storm and flooding in both Texas and Louisiana.
 
As Floridians, especially living on the Emerald Coast, we know better than most. Hurricane Ivan,
 
Hurricane Opal, Hurricane Andrew – some names conjure up immediate memories and feelings.
 
A Shocking Number
 
Fifty inches of rain. 24.5 trillion gallons of water. Thousands of homes destroyed. Tens of
 
thousands of people displaced, losing everything. The numbers are staggering.
 
One number that may shock you? Somewhere between 80 and 85 percent of Houstohomeowners don’t have flood insurance. Not only have they lost everything, they may not have help from insurance companies to completely rebuild. Before you wonder to yourself why anyone living in a flood zone like Houston would go without flood insurance, ask yourself one question. Do you have flood insurance?
 
We Can’t Imagine It Until It Happens
 
The reality is that anywhere it rains, it can potentially flood. Now put yourself in a coastal region or near a major river. Live in a low-lying area. Not only is this common, it should sound familiar to nearly everyone living on the Emerald Coast.
 
The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is by no means perfect, and rates have gone up over the years. But one glimpse of the water covering parts of Texas and Louisiana should remind you that, under different circumstances, this could have been Northwest Florida. We’re no strangers to hurricanes, even if it has been more than a decade since we suffered devastating losses on a similar scale.
 
Don’t Wait for the Flood to Hit
 
The NFIP is up for reauthorization in Congress, and by some accounts, it’s in trouble. Right now, though, it’s the program we have available. If you don’t have flood insurance right now, call your insurance provider. A flood insurance policy doesn’t go into effect immediately – there’s a 30 dawaiting period. The sooner you sign up, the better off you’ll be.
 
And as for the NFIP? Call your Senator or Representative and remind them that Harvey could have hit Florida. We don’t even need a hurricane to cause massive flooding on the Emerald Coast – only too much rain. Property owners need a flood insurance program that’s affordable for homeowners and able to help people rebuild when flooding occurs.
 
Talk to your insurance agent today about flood insurance policies. If you’re not in a high risk zone, your premiums may not be as high as you fear. And remember, there’s no such thing as a no-risk zone. Anywhere there’s water, there’s the potential for flooding.
 
Want to help Louisiana and Texas in their recovery efforts? The New York Times has a great list of local, state, and national charities to donate to that are genuinely helping victims. National organizations you can donate to include the American Red Cross, AmeriCares, Save thChildren, and the Salvation Army. 
 
 

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