Recovering from a Hurricane: All About Flood Insurance

In light of recent weather impacts as a result of Hurricane Ian, it is essential to cover and discuss the significance of flood insurance. Floods can happen anywhere, and Florida is at a higher risk due to the potential for storms. Just one inch of water can cost up to $25,000 in damage, and the typical homeowners’ insurance doesn’t cover flood damage. While flood insurance isn’t legally required, it can help save money in the long run. Here are some basics about flood insurance and tips on recovering from a flood. 

Federal Coverage

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides insurance to property owners, renters, and businesses. NFIP is administered by FEMA and covers direct physical damage to the building or personal property caused by a flood. When there’s a Presidential Disaster Declaration, FEMA offers federal assistance. However, insurance through NFIP typically isn’t comprehensive, and home and business owners opt for private carriers, either in conjunction with NFIP or separate policies. 

Some areas that aren’t covered are the cost of temporary housing while the home is undergoing repairs, property damage outside the home (decks, patios, fences, etc.), and financial losses caused by business interruption or vehicles. 

Private Coverage

Florida might not legally require a flood insurance policy; however, some mortgage lenders might if the home is in a high-risk flood zone. Even if in a low-risk flood zone, the building is still subject to flood. Everyone in Florida is eligible for flood insurance due to the likely chance of heavy rain and hurricanes. 

The cost of flood insurance depends on the location of the building, elevation, and the amount of coverage. Most flood policies take up to 30 days to take effect. A typical liability policy won’t cover flood damage for vehicles, but a comprehensive auto policy will. The compensation is dependent upon the coverage. When a vehicle experiences water damage from a flood, it’s usually totaled as repairs can cost more than the value of the vehicle itself. 

What to do After a Flood

If your home or business experienced water damage from Hurricane Ian, don’t enter the building until authorities have declared it safe. Water above outlets can be harmful, especially if the breaker is still on. Having an electrician inspect the building is vital. When a building floods, regardless of whether it’s a home or business, most items will need to be discarded. Flood water can be heavily contaminated with sewage and other pollutants. Here are some additional tips:

  • Use gloves and masks while cleaning up
  • Look for buckled walls or floors
  • Take plenty of pictures of the damage
  • Make a detailed list of lost or marred items
  • Drain the water in stages
  • Dehumidifiers and wet/dry shop vacs are useful

After salvaging what items you can, everything will need to be washed, disinfected, and dried properly to prevent mold growth. If repairs aren’t performed suitably, it can cause the building further damage. 

Recoup Your Home and Life with Cobia Insurance

Dealing with the aftermath of a hurricane can be intimidating, especially with severe water damage. Cobia Insurance is here to help in any way we can. We can help guide you through the claims process and how to recover as much as possible. Contact us today to learn more about our services and the ways we can help you bounce back. 

Additional Resources:

FEMA Fact Sheet

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