MIAMI – May 13, 2013 – Many homeowners don’t realize that their property insurance policy covers the driving winds of a hurricane, but not rising waters, such as from storm surge. And while the former damage can be massive, the latter damage can make a house unlivable.
The vast majority of U.S. flood insurance policies are issued by the National Flood Insurance program (NFIP), though most people simply refer to it as flood insurance.
Unlike other types of property insurance, however, flood insurance doesn’t kick in the same day a homeowner applies. In order to avoid an onslaught of new policies from an area threatened by an impeding hurricane, NFIP requires a 30-day waiting period for coverage to begin in all but a very few special circumstances.
That means Floridians who want flood insurance coverage for the 2013 storm season are already a bit late on their application if they hoped to have it by June 1, the first day of the 2013 hurricane season.
How it works
Flood insurance protects two types of insurable property: building and contents. The first covers a building, the latter covers possessions. Neither one covers land.
Building coverage includes:
• The insured building and its foundation
• Electrical and plumbing systems
• Central air conditioning equipment, furnaces and water heaters
• Refrigerators, cooking stoves and built-in appliances, such as dishwashers
• Permanently installed carpeting over unfinished floors
Contents coverage includes:
• Clothing, furniture and electronic equipment
• Portable and window air conditioners
• Portable microwaves and dishwashers
• Carpeting that is not already included in property coverage
• Clothing washers and dryers
NFIP falls under the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). A four-page PDF flyer on its flood insurance website, floodsmart.gov, provides an overview of the NFIP program.
© 2013 Florida Realtors®
Reprinted with permission. Florida Realtors®. All rights reserved.