Florida homeowners flooded by Tropical Storm Fay may lose twice. The first is when the flood waters recede and they are able to return to their homes. As someone who had his house partially flooded by Hurricane Ivan, I know the sick feeling you get when you first return to your house to find ruined walls, carpets, furniture, appliances, and personal items. As bad as that is, for some the worse loss will be when they find out that homeowner’s injurance policies DO NOT COVER FLOODING. A seperate policy is needed to cover flood damage.
A flood policy can be purchased from an insurance agent or directly through the National Flood Insurance Program,(NFIP), which is run by the Federal Emergency Management Program (FEMA). More than 20,300 communities nationwide participate in NFIP. Check the “Community Status Book” at fema.gov to find out whether your area participates. Then, go to floodsmart.gov and click on “What’s your flood risk?” to determine your odds and find a local agent.
Later posts will discuss some myths about flood insurance.