4 Myths About Flood Insurance

Flood insurance in Florida is essential. In the coming decades, there is a 26% risk that severe flooding may occur on one-fourth of all Florida properties. As a property owner, if you do not have flood insurance, your possessions are at risk, and you face the danger of having to pay for potentially expensive repairs out of pocket.

In an effort to provide you with dependable information concerning flood insurance, we are sharing four common misconceptions.

#1 Homeowners Insurance Covers Flood Damage

Homeowner’s insurance covers a variety of losses and occurrences including fire, powerful winds, and even theft, but many of these plans exclude losses brought on by water.

In fact, if you are a homeowner, it is important to note that most homeowner’s insurance policies do not provide coverage for flood-related damage. As a result, if there is a flash flood, hurricane, or other water-related catastrophe, you may be at risk.

#2 People in Low-Risk Areas Do Not Need Flood Insurance

It’s a reasonable assumption to think that because you live in a low-risk location, you don’t need to invest in flood insurance for your home. Unfortunately, there is an error in this thinking since areas that are regarded as low-risk flood zones account for around a quarter of all flood claims in Florida.

It’s important to understand that a lower risk does not equate to zero danger. Therefore, take the time to carefully examine your homeowner’s policy and your flood insurance coverage details, or consult a professional insurance representative to determine your coverage status.

flood insurance

#3 Only Homeowners Can Purchase Flood Insurance

In Florida, there are more than 1.5 million condos, many of which are located close to flood plains. Condos on lower floors are just as susceptible to flooding as nearby single and two-story homes.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was established enabling homeowners, landlords, and renters to purchase flood insurance to safeguard their property, residence, and possessions.

If you are a renter, you can and should consider purchasing flood insurance to ensure that your residence and belongings are insured in the case of flooding.

#4 Flood Insurance Covers All Damages

People with flood insurance frequently run into financial difficulties because they’ve made the error of thinking that this type of insurance covers all damages associated with a flooding event.

There is a list of exclusions that apply to flood insurance much like most types of policies. This fact makes it very important that you familiarize yourself with your current policy or ask specific coverage questions when shopping for flood insurance.

It’s also important to note that a typical flood insurance policy does not cover living costs, such as rent, while homes are being repaired. Depending on the catastrophe, you could need alternate housing for months or even years.


Protect Your Home from Flooding

At GWK Insurance, we assist people in finding the insurance coverage that will best suit their individual needs and is within their budget. To find out more about how we can get the best coverage for you so that you and your possessions are protected in the case of flooding, contact us for a consultation.

flood insurance

Understanding the Value of Flood Insurance Coverage

Did you know that one of the most frequent and expensive natural disasters that happens in the United States is flooding? Flooding can occur for a number of reasons, such as river overflow, excessive rainfall, storm surge from tropical storms, and of course, hurricanes.

Despite the common nature of flooding, only a small percentage of property owners get flood insurance. The good news is flood insurance is a valuable investment that can be purchased at a variety of price points. With the proper coverage, you can have peace of mind that both your property and its contents are protected.

Flood Insurance Coverage

Understanding the value of flood insurance coverage may make it even easier to seek it out and secure it for your specific needs. There are a few important things to consider when deciding whether you should invest in flood insurance.

Flooding is a Real Risk in Florida

No state has a more vulnerable stretch of shoreline as Florida. The Sunshine State is the ideal location for sun, sand, and unfortunately, floods primarily because of its more than 1,300 miles of coastline.

If you don’t live near the coast, you shouldn’t’ get too comfortable in thinking that your property is not at risk. With a population of around 21 million and the average residence sitting at an elevation of only six feet above sea level, the majority of Floridians should consider their property vulnerable.


Your Homeowner’s Insurance Does Not Protect You Against Flooding

Many types of water damage are covered by typical home insurance plans, but flood damage is not. Flood insurance can be a wise investment, given that just one inch of water can cause as much as $25,000 in damage.

Keep in mind that the goal of flood insurance, like the goal of other insurance plans, is to prevent you from having to pay costly repair and replacement costs in the event of a flood or disaster. Flood insurance has significant return on investment for those who experience flooding, as they have their home and belongings covered.

What Does Flood Insurance Cost and Cover?

Depending on your needs and budget, the cost and coverage of your flood insurance will vary. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which was created to lessen the socioeconomic impact of floods, offers solutions.

The NFIP imposes a cap of $250,000 for any structural damage to the property brought on by flooding and a cap of $100,000 for actual cash value coverage for any loss of personal possessions. It’s important to note that water damage from other sources (such as leakage or seepage claims), or damage brought on by wind-driven rain, are not covered by flood insurance.


Looking for Coverage?

For some people, the need and choice for purchasing a separate flood insurance policy can seem obvious. However, that may not always be the case for those not in specially designated flood zones. The fact is that without protection in place, you and your family maybe at risk financially. Flood coverage is your best protection.

At GWK Insurance, we assist people in finding the insurance coverage that will best suit their individual needs within their budget. To find out more about how we can get the best coverage for you and your family, contact us today.


Hurricane Preparation

With sizes that can span more than 300 miles, hurricanes have become one of the most dreaded natural phenomena on the East Coast. In the past ten years, a great deal of investment from national, state, and non-governmental platforms has gone towards preparation efforts.

To simplify the process, we’ve compiled some of our most prudent advice.

What’s the difference between Hurricane Watch and Hurricane Warning?

Hurricane Watch

Weather centers will issue a hurricane watch when it becomes possible for hurricane conditions to manifest in as little as 2 days. This may often be the first sign of atmospheric changes following tropical storm watches.

Hurricane Warning
This designation is issue to a specific area when it becomes expected that hurricane conditions will most likely manifest within 36 hours.

How do you prepare?

1. Check that you’re covered by your insurance. Account for both water damage, flood damage, structural damage, personal property

2. Account for all valuable items in your home

3. Protect your property by effectively securing loose exterior fixtures and installing protective equipment, such as shutters

4. Ensure that all emergency supply kits in your home have been properly stocked and that you have ice packed in your fridge

5. Plan your evacuation completely; including routes, supplies, mode of transportation, and finances

Recommendations for Supply Kits

1. Enough water for you and your family for at least 3 days. A standard metric for preparation is one gallon per person per day.

2. A proportional supply of non-perishable food for 3 days

3. Battery powered or hand crank radio

4. First aid kit with bandages, thermal blankets, glow sticks, sterile gloves, anti-septics, etc.

5. Flashlights and extra batteries

6. Duct tape

7. A whistle in case help needs to be indicated

8. Plastic sheeting

9. Tools, such as wrenches, pliers and hammers

10. Plastic bags and plastic ties

11. Moist towelettes

12. Non-electric can opener

13. Local maps

14. Cell phones with chargers, battery packs and solar chargers

15. Candles

16. Electric cooking wear

When do you evacuate?

Evacuate ahead of time with plenty of space between you and the storm

Leave when authorities issue a mandatory evacuation

Evacuate if you have no means of fortifying your home with protective fixtures

Things to do before you evacuate

1. Be prepared to drive at least 50 miles and away from the coast

2. Pack emergency supplies

3. Prepare maps

4. Inform a friend or family of your destination or route

5. Turn off the gas, electricity and water in your home

6. Empty the refrigerator or freezer

7. Prepare home for possible water damage by securing valuables on higher ground

If you can’t evacuate

1. Stay close to home

2. Stay aware of weather updates

3. Stay inside when the storm is closer or present

4. Stay away from windows and glass with all curtains and blinds closed

5. Close all interior doors to stifle potential air flow

6. Take refuge on the lowest level of the home unless the home floods

7. Do not exit in the eye of the hurricane

8. Turn off main circuit of home if electricity goes out

9. Avoid the use of candle supply behind closed doors- reserve those for lighting outdoors after the storm

What do you do after a hurricane?

1. Turn on the radio for weather updates

2. Return home from your evacuation destination only when authorities indicate that it is safe

3. If your home or area experienced flooding, be cautious of standing water- which may hide snakes and poisonous insects.

4. Check for gas leaks if you hear a hissing or blowing noise

5. Do not enter buildings if structural damage is evident. Stay away from con-caving ceilings.

6. Ventilate home by opening windows

7. Do not use open flames- verify the absence of a gas leak

8. Do not drink tap water until instructed otherwise

9. Reactivate the gas in your home if it was shut off

10. Stay away from electrical infrastructure and downed power-lines

Making a claim after the storm

1. Contact your coverage provider and speak to your agent

2. Document all damage with photos

3. Document all efforts to make temporary repairs- keep all receipts

4. Schedule an inspection






Flooding in Florida

Flood Prepration

Flooding in Florida, particularly southeast Florida, has become consistent and predictable. Whether it be from heavy rains, flash floods, or floods instigated by large storms, Florida residents can expect 10 – 20 foot walls of water in severe conditions. Recent weather events have only indicated that flooding should become a more pressing concern in the future, and has hence prompted $3.5 million in precautionary investments from the Floridian government in the past year.

However, the responsibility to protect homes and personal possessions is ultimately left to homeowners. This includes basic safety measures during and before storms, but also includes the implementation of insurance plans in preparation for unforeseen events. After all, it only takes 2 feet of water to lift a car off the ground, and 11 inches to cause $50,000 worth of loss.

The point is: floods happen. They are designated as the number-one natural disaster in the United States, and happen to be a formally declared risk in all 50 states. However, most homeowners insurance policies do not cover flood damage.

So what options are you left with?

One choice is known as Preferred Risk Flood Insurance. This provides coverage for direct physical loss due to flooding, including:

• Overflow of inland or tidal water

• Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface water from any source

• Mudflow

The alternative choice is Standard Flood Insurance– which is coverage for the same criteria, but typically required by your mortgage broker. This condition will likely be prompted by the location of your home being in a higher risk flood zone. For that reason, the rates for Preferred Risk Flood Insurance tend to be more affordable.

With peace of mind, you'll know you're ready.

Regardless of your flood policy, your agent has the capacity to integrate your coverage for flood insurance with your home insurance protections. In tandem with other safety measures implemented during weather events, you can rest assured that you are protected by your plan and the support of a good insurance professional.