Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier is encouraging consumers to have flood insurance protection in place for their homes and businesses prior to the start of this year’s hurricane season. A basic homeowners insurance policy does not provide coverage for flooding. This coverage must be purchased separately through either the federally-administered National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or a private insurance company.
“Many residents of our state experienced substantial property damage and losses last year from flooding caused by Hurricanes Hermine and Matthew,” stated Altmaier. “Even a small amount of rising water can cause serious flooding, so it is important to evaluate your insurance coverage now and plan ahead for the upcoming hurricane season.”
In Florida, the vast majority of flood insurance is administered through the NFIP, which oftentimes can be purchased directly from a consumer’s existing insurance agent or company. Typically, there is a 30-day waiting period before an NFIP policy takes effect, so to have coverage in place for the June 1 start of hurricane season, the ideal purchase date would be May 1. Federal legislative reforms addressing the NFIP were instituted in 2012 and 2014. As a result of these changes, additional price and fee increases took effect on April 1, 2017 for all NFIP policies. To learn more about this coverage, and for more information about the recent federal reforms, visit the NFIP’s website.
Florida’s private flood insurance market is growing and there are now several insurance companies offering primary or excess flood insurance coverage to consumers. This coverage is usually offered at prices similar to or lower than those of the NFIP. For a list of flood insurance writers in Florida, visit the Office’s “Flood Insurance” webpage.
For more information about ways to prepare for hurricane season and resources to a variety of fact sheets and tips, visit the Office’s “Hurricane Season Resources” webpage.