Be prepared: Buy flood insurance now

Updated: May 2, 2018

ORLANDO, Fla. – April 30, 2018 – One of the best ways to prepare for hurricane season is to buy insurance.

Nearly a million property owners filed claims for various insured losses from Hurricane Irma, according to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, with estimated insured losses totaling nearly $8 billion. More than 750,000 of the 900,000 claims were made by residential property owners.

With 1.7 million National Flood Insurance Program policies, Florida has the largest percentage - 35 percent - of NFIP policies in the entire system. When Irma made landfall Sept. 10, 2017, many homeowners, renters and business owners had flood insurance policies, but many more did not.

Flooding can occur anywhere, even in low-risk areas. Almost 25 percent of claims come from areas not considered at high risk for flooding and receive one-third of all federal flooding disaster help.

Homeowners, renters and business insurance does not typically cover flood damage, making it important for Floridians to buy an NFIP policy now. An NFIP insurance policy becomes effective 30 days after it is purchased. Flood insurance pays policyholders even if there is no federal disaster declaration.

Floods are the most common and most costly natural disasters in the United States. Without flood insurance, it may be too expensive for owners to repair or rebuild.

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