Now Is the Time for Flood Insurance

Hurricane season is fast approaching. We all know we need to make sure we’ve got water, batteries, and flashlights. Maybe this is the year you add hurricane shutters to the windows or install the whole home generator so you don’t have to worry. What about flood insurance?


Depending on where you live along the Emerald Coast, you may be required to carry flood insurance by your lender. But what if you live further north or your home has no mortgage? Do you have flood insurance? You should.


Purchase Flood Insurance Now


Unless you’re buying a new home, a typical flood insurance policy has a 30 day waiting period. Hurricane season starts June 1. We’ve all seen the storms that decide to arrive early or right at the beginning of June. If a storm hits while you’re in the waiting period for your policy, you won’t have flood insurance protections if water comes in your home.


Standard homeowners insurance, even with hurricane coverage, doesn’t cover flooding. The biggest question after a hurricane hits is whether the damage is from wind or water. With both types of coverage, you can let the insurance companies duke it out, instead of having to pay out of pocket for all the repairs. Flood insurance is technically available through private insurance, but most policies in Florida come from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Your insurance agent or company can help you purchase a policy.


Save Flood Insurance


On September 30, if Congress does not act, the NFIP could be gone for good. If a long-term reauthorization isn’t approved, home buyers across the country will be affected. When it happened in 2010 and there was a gap, 1300 closings a day were impacted – 40,000 over the course of the month. If you’ve got flood insurance now, you won’t be able to renew it through NFIP if the program dies.


While all parts of the country are in danger of flooding, Florida is one of the most susceptible. But floods can happen anywhere water can fall. In 2016, the NFIP had its third largest claims payout year in its history. Around $4 billion was paid to people across the country. Four of the five floods occurred inland, and the largest flood of the year was Baton Rouge. Until the private insurance market catches up and is willing to cover flood prone areas or offers prices people can afford, the NFIP is needed.


The National Association of Realtors (NAR) is working closely with policymakers in Washington D.C. to help them understand what’s at stake. The NFIP isn’t perfect and can use reforms. The private market may eventually become the better option. But until then, everywhere but especially on the Emerald Coast, you need flood insurance and it’s going to come from the NFIP.


  1. That’s good to know that most flood insurance will come with a 30 day waiting period before it starts. That’s good to know so that I can prepare in advance. I would want to make sure that I could be covered when the risk of floods starts to get higher, so I’ll have to consider getting some flood insurance soon.

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