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What is Flood Insurance? Do I really, really need it?

As a professional Realtor, I welcome the calls of my clients who need the support of my team of experts. Today, we are going to jump into the murky waters of insurance, specifically flood insurance in South Florida.

Let’s talk about Flood Insurance for a moment. I have asked Frank Walker of State Farm to join me to talk share his thoughts, from an insurance perspective. Thank you Frank for joining me and sharing your expertise with my clients and friends

Frank, I am sure my clients are not alone in becoming confused about flood insurance. One day, the insurance companies require flood insurance and then, poof, the next d
y, insurance companies are saying its optional. What’s going on? What should my clients understand so they can make a well informed decision about flood insurance.

Q. What the heck does the insurance company consider to be a flood?
A. Flood is Rising water from the ground up that encompasses a 3 acre area of space. So if you water backs up in your cul-de-sac, that is not a flood. Coverage for that loss is covered with an endorsement you your home insurance called back of sewers and drains.  With most companies this endorsement is less than $50.00 per year

Q.    What is the risk of my home flooding if I’m not in a flood hazard area?
Higher than you’d think. FEMA builds the flood map and determines what’s i
n a Flood hazard area using the 100 year flood plain.  The Map is telling us that in the next 100 years this property show less risk of flooding than other properties that have a lower elevation.   We have proven in flood losses such as Katrina in New Orleans and the most recently storms in south Carolina late last year. There was  a substantial number of the losses that sustained damage that were not in a “Flood Hazard Area”  and still flooded.
Q When the flood maps changed in Broward County in 2015/2016 tha
t allowed me to cancel my flood insurance,  was it a wise move to do so?
A. Every situation stands on its own merit.  If you know you home’s elevation, this is an big help in making your decision.   If you home elevation is 8 feet and you close to the coast or near a canal or river that makes its way to the coast,  a 12 foot surge from a storm could create an opportunity for you to fish in your living room.   If you are near a canal that pumps to the everglades and your home is the lowest in your neighborhood, if pumps fail, the water has to retreat somewhere.

Q. What is the typical cost for flood insurance?
A. You will find that at the rate in most cases is less than $500 per year. The risk to you for not having it if a flood does occur can be $50,000, $100,000 or even $200,000.

If you have any other questions, just give FrankWalker of State Farm a call and let him know how much you have enjoyed the article. 954-434-2244,

Athena Chilicas Saldanha, EWM Realty International, 954,317,0463

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