Standard homeowners and renters insurance does not cover flood damage
Pinellas County is currently experiencing drought conditions, but the rainy season will be upon us in a matter of months. Rain brings the potential for flooding, especially since most of our county is located within a floodplain.
To help our citizens plan and prepare for these summer showers and afternoon thunderstorms, Pinellas County is reminding residents to review their current insurance policies and consider adding flood insurance to their coverage.
“Anywhere it rains, it can flood. Having a flood insurance policy, whether for the home, business or rental property, is a good preparedness tool for residents regardless of whether or not they live within a designated flood zone,” said Lisa Foster, Pinellas County floodplain administrator.
Regular homeowners’ insurance doesn’t cover property damage caused by floods and hurricanes. Flood insurance, on the other hand, provides coverage for water intrusion due to flooding caused by heavy rains, tropical storms and hurricanes. Because the County and municipalities participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), flood insurance is available to homeowners, renters and business owners whether or not they are in a designated flood zone. Nearly 20 percent of flood insurance claims comes from areas that are not in a special flood hazard area.
Flood insurance is mandatory for federally-backed mortgages on buildings located in the special flood hazard area. Typically, there is a 30-day waiting period from the date of purchase before a flood policy goes into effect.
Due to Pinellas County’s proactive efforts, residents of unincorporated areas are eligible to receive up to 25 percent savings in the cost of their flood insurance By participating in the federal Community Rating System (CRS), Pinellas County saved residents in unincorporated county more than $5 million in flood insurance policy premiums over the last year.