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Flood Insurance 101 - Florida Real Estate

Have questions about flooding in Central Florida, let's break it down.
Posted: September 29, 2022 by Dana Vander Meer

With the anxiety and uncertainty of hurricane season always comes the question of flood zones and flood insurance when buying a home in Central Florida. 

From Clermont, FL you can get to beaches on the east or west coast of Florida within a hour and a half to two and half hour drive. The closest beach, being Clearwater Beach, is 75.35 miles away. While this may be a decent trip for a family outing it's not a far stretch of land for a hurricane or tropical storm to cause a bit of chaos for those of us in the central cities of Florida.  

If you own or are buying a home in Lake, Orange or surrounding counties in Central Florida flood zones and flood threats may be something you are curious about. While we are land locked some structures are still considered to be in flood zones. Aside from proximity to water sources (lakes, rivers, streams, creeks and oceans) flooding susceptibility is rated based on factors such as the absorptive capacity of soil, sewer system capacity and proximity of dams and levees. FEMA has a handy map tool to see if your home, or potential new home, falls in a flood zone.

However, don't let flood zones deter you from buying the home of your dreams or purchasing a home in the city you love. The key is being aware, prepared and COVERED. While flood insurance has a bad rep of being completely useless and unaffordable it has come a long way the past few years as hurricanes and damaging weather have becoming more of an issue. The average cost of flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is $771 a year, or $64 a month. *If you are in a high risk flood zone you are legally required if you obtain a mortgage to have flood insurance.

"A standard flood insurance policy pays for direct physical damage to your INSURED property up to the replacement cost or actual cash value," according to FEMA. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) offers two types of flood coverage- building and contents. 

Building Coverage Protects:

  • Electrical and plumbing systems
  • Furnaces and water heaters
  • Refrigerators, cooking stoves, and built-in appliances like dishwashers
  • Permanently installed carpeting
  • Permanently installed cabinets, paneling, and bookcases
  • Window blinds
  • Foundation walls, anchorage systems, and staircases.
  • Detached garages
  • Fuel tanks, well water tanks and pumps, and solar energy equipment

Content Coverage Protects: 

  • Personal belongings such as clothing, furniture, and electronic equipment
  • Curtains
  • Washer and dryer
  • Portable and window air conditioners
  • Microwave oven
  • Carpets not included in building coverage (e.g., carpet installed over wood floors)
  • Valuable items such as original artwork and furs (up to $2,500)
It’s important to note that most flood insurance policies don’t automatically provide contents coverage. According to FEMA, only one in four homeowners with a standard flood insurance policy is covered for damage to their contents. That’s a sizable gamble when you consider the out of pocket expenses that could be needed to replace damaged personal property.
When purchasing your flood insurance policy it is important to understand you can research and shop policies through the NFIP as well as private insurers. Getting the policy that best fits your property, risk and concerns in case of damage are vital.

Have questions? Worried about floods and hurricanes when considering making Central Florida your home? Reach out and let's chat! 

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