FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has paid more than $1 billion towards 21,949 flood insurance claims by policyholders whose properties were flooded during the historic storm since Hurricane Irma in Florida, Wink News reports.
Florida has more NFIP policies in force than any other state, and officials are urging Florida homeowners, renters and business owners to contact their insurance agent and insure their properties from flooding.
“One of the most important steps you can take to prepare for hurricane season is to buy flood insurance,” said Federal Coordinating Officer Gary Stanley, the FEMA official in charge of Florida’s Hurricane Irma recovery efforts. “Homeowner’s insurance does not cover losses from flooding, so don’t wait, purchase flood insurance today. A policy typically takes 30 days to go into effect, so when the next storm is on its way, it could be too late.”
According to a recent survey by insuranceQuotes.com, many homeowners are in the dark when it comes to what is and isn’t covered in their homeowners insurance policy. Flood and mold damage are among the most common misconceptions when it comes to homeowner’s insurance. The survey revealed that 35% of Americans incorrectly believe that a standard homeowner’s insurance policy covers flood damage, and 34% incorrectly believe that a standard homeowner’s insurance policy covers mold damage.
These homeowners may be unaware that flood insurance is a premium provided through the NFIP, rather than an included feature in their homeowner’s insurance. In general, a homeowner flood insurance policy covers up to $250,000 in structural damage and up to $100,000 in content loss. However, some homeowners may not be aware of what a “flood” actually means.
“Many consumers, when discussing or describing a loss, think that the words ‘flood’ and ‘water damage’ are interchangeable and mean the same thing,” says Mark Carrasquillo, an agent with the New York City-based brokerage E.G. Bowman Company on insuranceQuotes.com. “This is entirely wrong. In the insurance world the terms are very different.”