It’s hard to believe that less than six months ago Southwest Florida news stations were reporting about a severe drought. Today’s headlines could not be more opposite. Instead of praying for rain, Southwest Florida residents are praying that the rain would stop, as record rainfall has caused severe flooding in several communities. Wink News reported that since Thursday August 24th, Southwest Florida cities have experienced between 18 – 30 inches of rainfall. Many homes and businesses have experienced flooding – leaving some stranded or unable to work. Not to mention, the national headlines are filled with heartbreaking images and videos from Texas, where the flooding is absolutely devastating due to Hurricane Harvey.

Our hearts are with every person who has been negatively affected by this rain, both in Texas and Florida, but we hope that as a result of this situation, SWFL homeowners will learn an important lesson. That lesson is the importance of protecting your home and valuables with flood insurance.

Everyone thinks about hurricanes, but there are a couple of important things to remember about flooding. First, it doesn’t take a hurricane to cause severe flooding. The past four days in Florida have been the perfect example of that. Second, whether caused by a hurricane or not, flooding (as defined by rising water) is not covered on homeowners insurance in Florida. Many homeowners aren’t aware of this – or perhaps they were offered flood insurance at one point, but chose not to buy it because they weren’t concerned.

A majority of people only buy flood insurance if they are required by their mortgage company, that is, if there home is in a special flood zone (determined by FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program). Mortgage companies require flood insurance in these zones because of the increased likelihood of flooding. However, individuals who are not located in one of these zones, have the option to forgo flood insurance. Not to mention, homeowners who don’t finance their home don’t have anyone forcing them to purchase any kind of insurance. Because of these facts, countless homes in Southwest Florida are not covered by flood insurance.

It’s easy to see flooding on the TV and think that it will never happen to us. The past week of weather in SWFL is a somber reminder that it could happen to any of us quite easily. If we can see these kind of effects from four days of rain, imagine what we could see with a major storm. Experiencing flooding in your home would be awful in and of itself, but experiencing it and finding out you have no coverage to repair your home or replace your belongings could turn your entire world upside down.

If you don’t have flood insurance, there is no better time than to look into it than now. You may actually be surprised by how affordable it is, especially if you’re in a Preferred Zone. And the nice thing is that you know you don’t have to “shop” flood insurance – because the prices are all regulated by FEMA and the NFIP.

If you’d like to receive a flood quote or perhaps review your current coverage, the agents at East & Greenwell Insurance are ready and waiting to help you make sure your home is protected when it matters most. Don’t wait until it’s too late and wish that you “would have”. Call 239-434-7877 today.

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