No, flood losses are excluded on the Florida homeowner’s policy. The typical Florida Homeowner’s Insurance Policy (HO-3), under Section 1-Property Exclusions, excludes water damage caused by: (1) Flood, surface water, waves, tidal water, tsunami, seiche, overflow of a body of water, storm surge or spray from any of these, whether or not driven by wind, including hurricane or similar storm.
(2) Release of water held by a dam, levee, dike or by a water or flood control device or structure.
Why is flood damage excluded from the Florida homeowner’s policy?
Flood losses can be devastating, causing more property damage than any one insurance company can financially weather. Therefore, the federal government set up the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), to provide flood insurance for property located in a floodplain. The community must participate in the National Flood Insurance Program, which is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), which coordinates with private insurance companies to offer flood insurance to owners of property as well as to those who rent. Rates are set by the federal government and do not vary according to company or agent. They are set based on factors such as construction of the dwelling and the dwelling’s elevation level or risk for flood loss.
Limits of Flood Insurance Coverage
The National Flood Insurance Program covers limits of $250,000 for residences and $500,000 for commercial property. Higher levels of coverage are offered through Excess flood insurers.
Exclusions on the Flood Insurance Policy
Flood insurance does not cover water losses like burst water pipes, leaking water heaters, clogged sinks, broken toilets, or faulty sprinklers.
You, as the property owner, are ultimately responsible for understanding your homeowner’s/flood coverage. Remember that your home is the single largest investment you are ever likely to make, and protecting it from wind and water damage is extremely important.
We at Gracey-Backer, Inc. understand the difference between wind damage and flood damage. We have been advising our clients since 1925. We are happy to talk with you about your insurance needs. We encourage you to read your insurance policies and call us with questions or concerns before catastrophe hits.