The Difference Between Hurricane and Flood Insurance
People who live in South Florida and other hurricane-prone locations know that having the right insurance to protect their property is essential. Hurricanes can cause devastating damage to homes and buildings due to high winds and rain, though one of the biggest risks is flooding due to storm surges. While you may think your standard homeowner’s insurance policy will have you covered in the event of a hurricane - think again. There are differences when it comes to hurricane and flood insurance, and it is important to fully understand which policies are necessary to protect you and your family.
In Florida and other coastal states, a standard homeowner’s policy will not cover the typical damage from a hurricane. Instead, every property owner should purchase supplemental coverage for windstorm damage. The high winds of a hurricane can damage your roof, windows, walls, and much more, and windstorm policies will cover this type of property damage.
In high-risk hurricane states such as Florida, insurers can impose a separate hurricane deductible if damage occurred due to a storm that is an officially named hurricane. In Florida, insurers must give you an option for your hurricane deductible, as follows:
$500 flat-rate deductible
Two percent of the insured value of your home
Five percent of the insured value of your home
Ten percent of the insured value of your home
Since you are paying premiums for your standard homeowner’s policy, as well as your hurricane/windstorm policy, you may think you are fully covered. Unfortunately, if you live in a hurricane region, you would be wrong. This is because no homeowner’s or hurricane policy will cover flood damage, which is water damage that occurs from the ground-up.
Instead, you need to purchase flood insurance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA’s) National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). In fact, if you are in a high-risk zone and have a mortgage, your lender will likely require that you purchase this coverage.
NFIP flood insurance will cover up to $250,000 of property damage and $100,000 of damaged or lost contents of a property. However, there are many things that flood insurance will not cover, such as:
Business interruption costs
Paper money or certificates
Below-ground areas and improvements, such as finished basements
In addition, for flood insurance to kick in, the flood must be substantial (affecting more than just your property), and the water must come from outside sources. For example, flood insurance will not cover damage from a burst pipe, landscaping, or swimming pool problems.
While knowing the difference between hurricane and flood insurance can be tricky, it is important to have the full coverage you need in case a hurricane hits. Never hesitate to call Ged Lawyers, LLP if you have concerns about your coverage or an active claim. Call 844-443-3529 or contact us online to set up a free consultation and case evaluation.