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Fact file: Florida hurricane insurance

November 2020

  • Six of the 10 costliest hurricanes in U.S. history have impacted Florida. Three of these storms occurred within just two years: 2004 and 2005. (See chart.)
  • The costliest hurricane, based on insured property losses to Florida, was 1992’s Hurricane Andrew. It caused $25.9 billion in damage to Florida and Louisiana (in 2019 dollars). (See chart.)
  • Standard homeowners policies typically do not cover flood damage. Flood insurance is covered by the federally managed National Flood Insurance Program, but private flood insurance is becoming increasingly available.
  • Florida leads the nation in the number of flood policies, according to the National Flood Insurance Program, with about 1.8 million policies in force in 2019.
  • About 98 percent of the total population of Florida lives in one of the coastal counties. The number of people living in coastal areas in Florida increased by 4.2 million, or 27 percent, from 15.6 million in 2000 to 19.8 million in 2015, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
  • In Florida, 2.9 million single-family homes were at risk in 2020 for storm surge damage from hurricanes up to Category 5 strength, according to CoreLogic, Inc. These homes would cost $581 billion to completely rebuild, including labor and materials.
  • After its establishment in 2002, when the state passed legislation combining two separate high-risk insurance pools known as the Florida Windstorm Underwriting Association and the Florida Residential Property & Casualty Joint Underwriting Association, Citizens Property Insurance Corp. (CPIC) experienced exponential growth. As a result, Florida Citizens has evolved from a market of last resort to the state’s largest property insurer.
  • Florida Citizens Property Insurance Corp. provides multiperil and wind-only insurance coverage to Florida homeowners, commercial residential and commercial business property owners.
  • Direct homeowners insurance premiums in Florida written by Citizens was $490.9 million in 2018 down from $795 million in 2014.
  • Citizens was the state’s fourth leading homeowners insurer in 2018, with a market share of 5.11 percent, down from 9.1 percent in 2014.
  • Florida Citizens had 346,227 policies as of March 31, 2020.

Get you homeowners insurance, flood insurance and auto insurance from Jones Family Insurance. Serving Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, Cape Coral and Fort Myers Florida.

Preparing for Hurricane Season Flooding

Hurricane season is upon us and with these storms comes the threat of flooding. Unfortunately, tropical storms can also be unpredictable and their path, intensity, and possible damages are hard to determine ahead of time. The best thing you can do if you are in a hurricane risk area is to always be prepared for these storms and the flooding they can bring. We have some tips to help you keep your family and home stay protected this hurricane season.

Before the Storm

Know Your Risk – If you live in a state that has experienced hurricanes in the past, you are at risk of being impacted by one in the future. However, depending on where your home is located the risks are different. If you are located closer to the coast, your biggest concern should be storm surge. As we move more inland, your preparation should focus on heavy rainfall with wind gusts. Knowing which conditions of a hurricane are more likely to impact your property will help you properly prepare. It is also important to know the elevation of your property, which will directly affect your flood risk. You can visit www.myfloodrisk.org to check the flood risk factors of your home.

Insure Your Property – One of the most important steps to take before a storm is to review your insurance coverage to make sure you are protected from any damage a hurricane might bring. A standard home insurance policy will not cover flooding or storm surge, two of the most dangerous and destructive effects of a hurricane. A standalone flood insurance policy is needed to protect your assets. When a storm is forecast to make landfall in your area it becomes more difficult to find coverage, so it’s necessary to check your policies ahead of time.

 

Prepare Your Home – Flood waters are extremely damaging, but there are some things you can do to reduce the impact to your home. Clean out any drains and gutters on your property, this will allow water to flow freely through these systems. Sandbags can be used as a flood barrier by diverting water from flowing through openings and diverting flood water around the structure. To reduce damage to your belongings, lift all furniture from ground level using concrete blocks. It’s also important to make sure electronics are unplugged if they could come into contact with water.

 

Have a Safety Kit – Every hurricane season you should stock a safety kit to prepare for every scenario that could happen during a storm. You will need food and water, enough to last each household member at least a few days. Your kit should also contain flashlights, batteries, a portal cell phone charger and a battery-operated radio, so you can still listen to news reports should the power go out. Any first aid and personal hygiene products needed should be included as well. Important documents such as insurance papers and important personal documents should be stored in a watertight case such as your dishwasher or washing machine.

 

During and After the Storm

Stay Inside – Do not go outside during the hurricane or immediately after until your local authorities say it is safe and the storm conditions have passed. There might be damage outside that you are unaware of and wind gusts will continue from the outer bands of the storm, which could lead to debris becoming airborne. Also if it’s still raining there is always the risk of flash flooding, which is extremely dangerous to get caught in.

 

Don’t Go in the Water – Flood water is full of contaminants from debris, sewage, animals and other pollutants. It’s important to your health that you avoid flood water if possible. Hurricanes often lead to downed power lines and power outages, these powerlines can be hidden by flood waters and electrically charge the water.

 

Contact Jones Family Insurance. We service North Port, Port Charlotte, Punta Gorda, Cape Coral and Fort Myers Florida – If you have flood damage from the storm, contact us as soon as possible. Your JFI agent can help you with the claim process and what to do first to prevent further damage to your home.

HURRICANES DON’T JUST AFFECT COASTS; EXPERTS SAY: “GET FLOOD INSURANCE

With the 2020 hurricane season activity expected to be “well above average” in intensity; three named storms having formed already; and Tropical Depression Cristobal brought flooding rains and powerful winds from the South to the Midwest as it made landfall in Louisiana, preparedness should be on the minds of everyone who could be affected – and that means more than just people in coastal states.

Cristobal’s moved from the lower Mississippi Valley to the Midwest – just ahead of a cold front that will eventually absorb Cristobal’s remnants as it moves into southeastern Canada, according to Weather.com: “The combination of deep, tropical moisture from Cristobal and the cold front will wring out heavy rain along a swath from the lower Mississippi Valley into the Midwest. Strong winds will also develop in the Midwest and Great Lakes from this setup.”

“Inland flooding has resulted in more deaths in the past 30 years from hurricanes and tropical storms in the U.S. than any other threat,” said CNN meteorologist Brandon Miller. “Though wind speeds and storm surge are important, and get a lot of the headlines, flash flooding from intense rainfall associated with the storm’s rainbands impact far more people and stretch over a much larger area.”

About 90 percent of all natural disasters in the U.S involve flooding. This is why experts like Dan Kaniewski – managing director for public sector innovation at Marsh & McLennan and former deputy administrator for resilience at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) – strenuously urge everyone to buy flood insurance.

If it can rain, it can flood

“Any home can flood,” Matt Jones said (Matt Jones Owner of Jones Family Insurance in Punta Gorda and Fort Myers Florida). “Even if you’re well outside a floodplain…. Get flood insurance. Whether you’re a homeowner or a renter or a business – get flood insurance. It’s not included in your homeowners policy, and most people don’t understand that.”

Dr. Rick Knabb – on-air hurricane expert for the Weather Channel – was similarly emphatic:

“If it can rain where you live,” he said, “it can flood where you live.”

He recounted buying a new home, asking his agent about flood insurance, and being told, “You don’t need it.”

“I told him, ‘Get it for me anyway,’” Knabb said.

Flood insurance purchase rates too low

2019 was the second-wettest year on record across the continental U.S., yet flood insurance purchase rates remain low. To illustrate the difference between having and not having flood insurance, Jones described two scenarios related to 2017’s devastating Hurricane Harvey.

“The average [FEMA] payout for the uninsured homeowner in the Houston area was about $3,000,” Kaniewski said. “But if you were proactive and took out a relatively low-cost flood insurance policy…you would have received not $3,000 but $110,000. You’re not going to recover on $3,000, but with $110,000, you’d be well on the path to recovery.”

Unfortunately, he said, even inside designated floodplains, “two-thirds of homeowners do not have flood insurance.”

Shop for your Flood Insurance Policy today! CLICK HERE

Six Ways to Lower Your Homeowners Insurance – #5

The cost of homeowner’s insurance is one of those unavoidable expenses that comes along with owning a house.  How much you’ll pay for insurance varies depending on your location and the age of your home.  It can feel like a big expense, but knowing you’ll be reimbursed if something happens to your most valuable investment can be priceless. 

5th Check out flood insurance. Always know when purchasing your home if you’re in a flood zone and if you are, know what your Base Flood Elevation (BFE) is. Your BFE will determine the height at which the flood carrier determines your price. If you have equipment in the garage such as hot water heater, make sure it is elevated. We have seen flood polices go 6x the regular price just because a hot water heater sits on the ground. In Charlotte County we are experiencing a flood map change and it is very important to call your agent or us to find out all the ins and outs of this change. The maps haven’t changed here in about 30yrs! Also, even if you are not in a flood zone it is important to get a quote. People think oh my gosh flood insurance is so expensive. Well if you’re not in a flood zone you’re probably looking at about $400-$600 per year to cover your most prize possessions. Just remember one in five flood claims come from homes that are NOT in a flood zone.

 

Learn more at www.Jonesfamilyins.com