Florida residents are no strangers to flooding. If you lived through Tropical Storm Fay in 2008 or Tropical Storm Debby in 2012, you’ve seen what water can do to homes and public infrastructure. Of course, hurricane season brings strong winds, too. Gusts can be strong enough to rip off shutters and sometimes entire roofs.
While strong winds and flooding are most common in coastal areas like Palm Coast, these conditions can spread further inland, too. A single storm can cause hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of damage to your home and land. So how do you protect your financial interests when your home is at risk? You purchase flood and wind insurance from a reputable insurance broker.
What Is Flood and Wind Insurance?
Homeowners often assume that their homeowners’ insurance policy will cover damage caused by high winds or flooding. Unfortunately, this is not typically the case. Especially in areas where such storms are common, standard homeowners’ insurance policies tend to exclude damage caused by flooding or high winds.
If you want coverage for flood and wind damage, you need to purchase a flood and wind rider. A rider is just extra insurance that you add to your standard policy. In other words, you would purchase your normal homeowners’ insurance policy, but you’d also pay a bit extra to add coverage for flood and wind damage. Most insurance companies that sell homeowners insurance offer flood and wind coverage, but you may have to ask for it.
Why Is Flood And Wind Coverage So Important?
If you don’t have flood and wind coverage and your home is badly damaged by these conditions, then you’ll have to pay for any necessary repairs out-of-pocket. Flood and wind damage can be substantial. It’s not uncommon for homes to need a new roof, new siding, and foundation repairs after a big storm. As such, paying a little more money each month for a flood and wind rider is a very smart investment. If the worst should happen to your home, you have the peace of mind of knowing you’re covered financially.
Additionally, if you have a mortgage on your home, your lender likely requires you to carry flood and wind insurance. If you fail to provide this coverage, your lender may refuse to continue servicing your loan. These requirements exist for the protection of the lender. They do not want a home they’ve financed to be badly damaged with the owner unable to afford the necessary repairs.
What Does Flood And Wind Insurance Cover?
Put simply, flood and wind insurance covers damage to your home and property that occurs as the result of high winds, flooding, or both. Here are some more specific property components that flood and wind policies typically protect.
Your Buildings And Foundations
Buildings in Florida are constructed to withstand the area’s harsh weather conditions, but even the strongest building materials succumb to wind and floodwaters sometimes. Foundations can shift and crack when the ground around them becomes over-saturated. Roofs can blow off or suffer severe damage in wind storms. Your home may even lose siding or windows. All of these types of damage, and more, are covered by flood and wind insurance.
Permanent Indoor Fixtures And Features
Any element that is “fixed” or anchored down inside your home is also covered under flood and wind insurance. This includes cabinetry, wall-to-wall carpeting, and countertops. If floodwaters soak your carpet, your insurance will pay for them to be removed and replaced. Similarly, if your cabinetry falls off the wall due to high winds, insurance will pay for the damages.
Large appliances like refrigerators, ovens, and dishwashers do not always fare well in flood conditions. Once they are immersed in water, their motors may fail, or they may rust beyond the point of being salvageable. With flood and wind insurance, you won’t have to pay for replacements.
HVAC And Plumbing Systems
Both interior and exterior HVAC and plumbing equipment can be at risk of damage in a storm. High winds may rip plumbing vents off the roof. Flooding may leave your furnace in a puddle of water, unable to function. Replacing this equipment can be expensive, as can repairing damage to system components like pipes and ducts. Flood and wind insurance companies are used to coordinating with HVAC and plumbing companies to arrange for repairs.
Anything inside your home when it floods is likely to be damaged. Clothing that has been sitting in water cannot always be salvaged. Books may be completely ruined by floodwaters, and electronics certainly don’t fare well if they get wet. Saying goodbye to items you love isn’t easy, but at least with flood and wind insurance, you won’t have to pay to replace them.
Before you purchase flood and wind insurance, it is a good idea to inventory your personal items and estimate their total value. Then, compare that value to the coverage limit on the policies you’re considering. Choose an insurance policy with enough personal item coverage to replace all of your possessions, if necessary. While it would be a shame for you to need this coverage, it is not unheard of for Florida residents to lose everything in a bad storm.
Unfortunately, as Florida residents, we have to take the good with the bad. We have plenty of bright, sunshine-filled days, but we also have high winds and flooding to contend with. Make sure you and your home are protected with adequate flood and wind insurance, and you’ll breathe a lot easier the next time a big storm rolls through.
If you’re looking for flood and wind coverage, don’t hesitate to contact Flagler County Insurance Agency. We’re a team of experienced insurance professionals, and we’ll work with you every step of the way to ensure you get the coverage you deserve.