According to the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA), flooding is the number ONE natural disaster in the United States. Floods and flash floods occur often in Fort Myers, Cape Coral and all of Southwest Florida. Being surrounded almost completely by water, a flood could happen at any time. A common misconception residents of Southwest Florida have is that they are not in a flood zone. Although, you may not in a primary high risk flood zone, ALL of Southwest Florida is in a flood zone of some type!
No home in Southwest Florida is guaranteed safety from a Hurricane, Tropical Storm, or even hours of rain. With many of our cities being right on the coast; one thing is certain, you will at some time see a massive amount of water raising. It is our job as your local agent to make sure you are aware of the risks and hazards that can damage your home and/or belongings and to help you breath easier when you see the waters rise.
Flood insurance rates are determined by the flood zone you are located within per flood maps. If you are in a standard flood zone, we would need to review a copy of your elevation certificate to determine the exact rate. You should have received a copy of this upon closing on your home. If you live in a preferred zone, the chart below gives the exact rate you can expect to pay based on various coverage levels. Please keep in mind, all flood insurance policies, except those on a new home purchase, require a 30-day waiting period for the policy to start.
A flood is an excess of water on land that is normally dry. The official definition provided by the National Flood Insurance Program is as follows:
A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or of two or more properties (at least one of which is your property) from: Overflow of inland or tidal waters Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source; Mudflow (a river of liquid and flowing mud on the surfaces of normally dry land areas); Collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or similar body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels that result in a flood as defined above.
Just an inch of water can cause damage to your property. Your Homeowner’s Insurance does NOT protect your property against a flood or rising waters. If you live in a low to moderate flood risk area, your premium could be as low as $129/year! Approximately, 25% of all claims paid out are in a low to moderate risk area Flooding causes more than $2 billion of property damage annually. Physical damage to your building or personal property that is directly caused by a flood is covered by a flood insurance policy. As an example, damages caused by sewer backup are covered if the backup is a direct result of flooding.
Your homeowners insurance does not cover floods. It does cover fires. Consider this ... in a high-risk area like Fort Myers, your home is more than twice as likely to be damaged by a flood than by fire. Crazy right?
Uh ... yes you do. Everyone in Southwest Florida lives in a flood zone. It's only a question of which zone you are located in. If you are not required to have flood insurance by your mortgage company, chances are you live in preferred risk zone. 20% of all claims on flood insurance in Southwest Florida are for customers who live in these preferred zones.
FEMA has created a great website with everything you could ever ask or want to know about flood insurance in Southwest Florida. For a free flood insurance quote call the Culbertson Agency at (239) 210-7700 or request an online quote.