As the peak of the 2018 Atlantic Hurricane Season nears and Florida approaches the one-year mark since Hurricane Irma, Florida Insurance Commissioner David Altmaier and Chief Financial Officer (CFO) Jimmy Patronis are reminding consumers to take action now to review their insurance policies and secure flood insurance coverage. Typically, there is a 30-day waiting period before a flood policy takes effect, so it is vital to act before a named storm or significant weather event emerges.
The Office of Insurance Regulation (OIR) has proactively worked alongside CFO Patronis’ office to expand Florida’s private flood insurance market. Between June 30, 2017 and March 31, 2018, the number of insurers eligible to write private flood insurance in Florida increased from 20 to 26, a 30 percent from the previous reporting period with additional insurers pending entry. As of April 2018, private carriers have written more than 30,000 personal primary flood insurance policies in Florida, a 50 percent increase from the previous reporting period. This coverage is usually offered at prices similar to or lower than those of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), providing more consumer choice and an alternative to the federal program.
Chief Financial Officer Jimmy Patronis said, “The images of the flood damages and losses I saw when traveling the state following Hurricane Irma will forever be ingrained in my memory. We are almost 30 days from the one-year mark since Irma and this should serve as a reminder that flood policies typically take 30 days to take effect. Now is the time to review your current insurance policy and get flood insurance if you don’t have it. Remember, flooding isn’t just a coastal concern but a statewide issue.”
Commissioner David Altmaier said, “As we approach the time of year when tropical activity is at its highest, complacency is not an option. Last year, reports indicated a vast majority of Florida’s residences were inadequately insured. Floridians must review their insurance policies, understand their coverages, and make the necessary adjustments to ensure they are adequately covered. Prepare now, and protect your property for when the next storm arrives.”
A basic homeowners’ insurance policy does not provide coverage for flooding and this coverage must be purchased separately through a private insurance company or the federally-administered NFIP. Flood insurance coverage can often be purchased directly from a consumer’s existing insurance agent or company. For a list of private market flood insurance writers in Florida, visit this link.
For more information about ways to prepare for hurricane season, visit OIR’s Hurricane Season Resources webpage, CFO Patronis’ Hurricane Season Preparedness webpage, or contact CFO Patronis’ Insurance Consumer Helpline by calling 1-877-MY-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236).