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Florida Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty is encouraging Floridians to make preparations now for the upcoming 2013 hurricane season by purchasing flood insurance.

Flood insurance is administered through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and is available to homeowners, renters and business owners who live in a community participating in the NFIP.

Commissioner McCarty said last week consumers should be aware that significant rate increases will take effect for new and renewal NFIP policies starting on Oct. 1, 2013.

Floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States; however, flood damage is not covered by a typical homeowners or business insurance policy. This type of coverage is an extra layer of security in the event of a catastrophic event.

“Florida’s risk for severe weather is well-known and, even though a hurricane has not impacted our state in recent years, several tropical storms have caused significant flood damage to many Floridians,” Commissioner McCarty said.

“Regardless of the storm type, I strongly urge Floridians to prepare now and purchase flood insurance by May 1st, as a typical flood insurance policy takes 30 days to become effective. This will ensure you are covered on June 1st, the first day of hurricane season.”

Florida consumers can purchase flood insurance from NFIP for up to $250,000 for property damage and $100,000 for personal contents. Excess flood insurance can be purchased for homes valued at more than $250,000. NFIP coverage is also available for commercial structures at $500,000 for building coverage and $500,000 for contents coverage.

In July 2012, the U.S. Congress passed the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 extending the NFIP through Sept. 30, 2017. Key provisions of this legislation will be implemented over time and include raising premium rates to reflect the actual flood risk of the program, phasing out subsidies on properties with repetitive losses, allowing coverage availability for multifamily properties and minimum deductibles for flood claims.

Source: Florida Office of Insurance Regulation

Posted 12:29 PM  View Comments

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