Experts stress importance of flood insurance
after Florida hit by Hurricane Ian, Nicole
Less than 50% of Florida
homeowners have flood insurance, according to Insurance
Article Courtesy of Channel 5 WPTV
By Kate Hussey
November 17, 2022
DELRAY BEACH ó Hurricane Nicole is
bringing new awareness to the importance of having flood insurance.
Less than half of Florida homeowners actually purchase it, according to
the Insurance Information Institute. And that's with Florida being
ranked as the most hurricane-prone state in the U.S.
"I would say nine out of 10 buyers do not
obtain it," Brent Colby, a realtor with the Brent Colby
Group in Wellington.
Colby sees what happens when his clients decide not to
protect their homes.
"Once you get water into your house, and it starts going
above that baseboard line and into the drywall, it causes a
lot of damage," Colby said.
The real estate broker said just because you're not in a
flood-prone area doesn't mean you don't need flood
"Even with Hurricane Ian, the majority of the claims came
from areas not in the flood zone," Colby said.
Colby added many of his clients are
afraid of the cost. However, he said the price of insurance
is typically much less than the cost of damage from
Drivers navigate a flooded street following the
passage of Hurricane Nicole, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022, in Fort Pierce
"If you're not in a flood zone, it can be as cheap as $500 a year,"
Colby said. "If you are in a flood zone, of course, it can be a bit
more, but even for my multifamily home on the Intracoastal [Waterway],
about five lots away from the Intracoastal, it's about $1,500 a year. To
me, that's one of those properties that I'm always going to carry it.
It's just way too close to that water, and I've seen what it can do,"
According to the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation, Palm Beach
County reported 2,650 insurance claims after Hurricane Ian.
"It just once again comes down to risk tolerance," Colby said. "We live
in South Florida. You just have to be careful."
For some homeowners, like Jerome Calderone, the devastation that
Hurricane Ian caused was a reason to purchase insurance of his own.
"I just like two weeks ago purchased flood insurance," Calderone said.
"Just in time."
The Delray Beach resident said he was thankful to have coverage as
Hurricane Nicole hit South Florida on Wednesday into Thursday, causing
flooding for many residents in the city's historic Marina neighborhood.
"Thatís the reality we live with, that storm surge can be brutal,"
Calderone said. "My heart goes out to them."
Calderone's own home wasn't damaged by the storm.
"It was smooth sailing," Calderone, a Delray Beach window washer, said.
Knowing his home is only 2 miles from the coast, he is still thankful to
have purchased insurance ahead of the next storm.
"It's kind of a no-brainer," Calderone said. "For the little money that
it is, the protection is a good value."
Colby recommends his clients do their research before purchasing flood
insurance and find out what policy is right for them.
"Every buyer and homeowner is a bit different," Colby said.