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FEMA urges Floridians to get flood insurance before peak hurricane season

tree palm weather Hurricane or tropical storm wind buffeting palm trees

Only 20% of Florida residents have flood insurance and Acting Assistant Administrator of Federal Insurance at FEMA David Maurstad, is urging Florida residents to prepare now before the peak of hurricane season and take action before it’s too late. Also, remember your homeowner’s or rental insurance may not cover flooding. You’ll be left underwater financially after a storm unless you’re covered.
Florida is at risk for flooding, a risk that increases after heavy rains and hurricanes. Residents can check their region’s risk and learn more at www.floodsmart.gov/hurricanes. Also download the FEMA app on your smart phone.

Maurstad also says that flood insurance policies typically take 30 days to go into effect and if residents wait to buy a policy after a flood event begins, the property won’t be protected from the damage caused by that flood event. Also, it’s a fact, that when a hurricane hits, those with flood insurance recover faster.

● Only about 20 percent of those in Texas, Louisiana, and Florida have flood insurance.
● 3.5 million Floridians are currently at risk of coastal flooding with 1.1 million people more are projected to be at risk due to sea level rise by 2050.
● Tropical Storm Eta made landfall in the Florida Keys and along the state’s west coast in early November 2020, causing heavy rainfall, strong winds, and flash flooding to produce $1.5 billion in damage.
● Although it didn’t make landfall in Florida, nearly 4,000 insurance claims, including hundreds from South Floridians, were submitted for the damage caused by Hurricane Dorian in 2019, according to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation.
● In 2018, Hurricane Michael was directly responsible for about $25 billion in damage in the United States, causing $18.4 billion of damage in Florida alone, primarily incurred by property and infrastructure.
Where it rains it can flood. Understand your flood risk.

Maurstad says securing flood insurance is the best way to protect the life you’ve built. Just an inch of water in your home can cause up to $25,000 in damage.
Most homeowners and renters insurance does not cover flood damage. Flood insurance helps people recover faster.
Listen to the complete interview with FEMA Federal Insurance Administrator David Maurstad here.

Again, visit www.floodsmart.gov/hurricanes to learn more about your flood risk and flood insurance options.