Do I need flood insurance?
Do I need flood insurance?Flooding can occur anywhere, anytime. Even if you are not required to have flood insurance, serious consideration should be given to purchasing it anyway.
Homeowners insurance may cover fire and wind damage, but virtually never covers damage from flooding, which is nature's most common natural disaster. Damages associated with floods can easily total $25,000 or more, and sometimes much more.
Because the Town of Fort Myers Beach participates in the National Flood Insurance Program, all residents and property owners qualify to apply for flood insurance.
Without flood insurance, losses must be covered out of pocket. Some limited relief might be obtainable through government aid, but government assistance is not available automatically. It is offered only when the President makes an official disaster declaration. Less than half of flooding events are "declared disasters". Declarations require rather widespread damage. Most often, when government aid is available, it comes in the form of an interest bearing loan from the Small Business Administration.
Flood insurance is mandatory if:
- Your property is located in a Special Flood Hazard Area (the entire Town of Fort Myers Beach)
- You have a federally backed mortgage on a home in a high risk area
- You have received a federal grant for previous flood losses and you wish to qualify for future aid
- Flood debris cleanup
- Structural damage (walls, ceilings, floors, stairways, etc.)
- Household appliances/utilities damaged by floodwater
- Wall to wall carpeting, tile and other flooring surfaces
- Collectibles, artwork, knickknacks
- Clothing, shoes, accessories, jewelry, etc.
The maximum coverage limits under a standard flood policy are $250,000 for a single family home structure ($500,000 for businesses) and $100,000 for single-family home contents (500,000 for businesses). The contents coverage limit for a renter is $100,000.
For More Information on Flood Insurance
Your homeowner's insurance agent most likely can provide you with all the information you need and answer any questions you have. If not, additional information can be obtained directly from the National Flood Insurance Program by calling 1-888-CALL-FLOOD. You can access the NFIP website at WWW.FEMA.GOV/BUSINESS/NFIP