I recently made a trip to the New Orleans area and saw areas that were still being rebuilt 9 years after the Katrina Hurricane. It made me think back to 2004 when Hurricane Charlie made a path of destruction across Florida and how unprepared so many of us were. I remember reading in the weeks after Charlie about many homeowners who thought they had flood coverage only to find out they did not.
Homeowners find it difficult to find private companies that will even write a flood insurance policy and customers must rely on the federal programs for coverage. I am not an expert on this side of the issue so I suggest you take a look at the FEMA site for the National Flood Insurance Program or talk to your policy holder to check what you can and or covered for.
I know that after reading staff writer Karina Gafford’s article “Military Families: My Flood Insurance Wake Up Call” I will be checking on my policy.
Why do we need flood insurance in the MacDill AFB area? Well if you have lived here for any length of time you can see how just a down pour can flood the streets of Tampa and the outlying suburbs. So just imagine a tropical storm or Hurricane. According to Karina’s article 1 in 4 home owners will need flood insurance during the lifetime of their mortgage. According to the Florida Flood Insurance.org their are many misconceptions on owning a flood insurance policy. This is what they had to say about the misconceptions:
- The Number One Misconception is that homeowners insurance covers flood risk. The fact is that homeowners insurance policies typically DO NOT cover flood damage, a point usually highlighted in bold letters on the first page of your homeowners policy.
- The Second Misconception is that flood insurance policies are expensive. Actually, if your home or business is located in a Preferred Risk Zone as determined by FEMA, you can purchase flood insurance for as little as $129 per year.
- The Third Misconception is that many homeowners think they don’t live in a flood zone. In reality, FEMA has designated the entire state of Florida as a flood zone with varying levels of risk.
Great reasons to have a flood insurance policy whether you are renting, own a rental property or own your home. This information is especially important for our military families in the area who may not be aware of the flood risk here in the MacDill AFB area. I am not sure how it works with base housing but I would make sure my rental insurance has flood insurance if you are living on MacDill Base housing.
That being said even if your home is not located in Florida you should know that all 50 states have experienced flooding in the last 5 years. If you own a home in another state and or renting it out you probably need to check your policy for flood coverage.
With this information I would suggest making a call to your insurer and checking what coverage you have or may not have. With the information in Karina’s article, FEMA and FloodSmart.gov you should be very educated in why you need flood insurance here in the Tampa bay area.
I hope none of us will ever need to use our flood insurance policies but now that we all know the facts being covered will ease the burden if we do have a flood. Another great tip if you are searching for a home to rent or buy check out the FEMA maps for what flood zone the home falls under.
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