Flood Insurance In Jacksonville
Flood insurance is critical in Jacksonville, especially in Florida overall, where over half of all policies nationwide are issued. Homeowners, renters, condominium and commercial property insurance policies do not cover flood, as we all have heard. Yet most people are surprised to find out that their property is still eligible for reduced flood rates based on where the actual flood zone boundaries are located. Bissell & Associates has access to all programs and resources needed to write the most common "Preferred Risk" flood policies for northeast Florida's B, C and X zones and the "Regular" flood program for the riskier A, AE and V zones that are closer to tidal or coastal waters. Regardless of where your property is located, we have the expertise to assist you with this most valuable coverage.
What Qualifies As A Flood?
According to FloodSmart.gov a flood is defined as a "a general and temporary condition where two or more acres of normally dry land or two or more properties are inundated by water or mudflow." Many parts of Florida receive an annual rainfall of over 100 inches (source NOAA) which can lead to excessive flooding. Hurricanes also create conditions that can push water drainage systems beyond their designed limits. These major factors contribute to Florida being at high-risk for floods. To find out the flood zone your home resides in use this interactive map from FEMA.
How Can I Prepare Before A Flood?
Education is key when it comes to preparing for a flood. Though a flood policy goes a long way to replace your lost posessions, some items are truly irreplaceable like family keepsakes, photo albums and more. Here are a few tips you can do to protect your home when at risk for an impending flood:
- Have A Family Emergency Plan
One danger of a flood that is often overlooked is contamination of the drinking water supply. It is critical to prepare a supply of clean drinking water to last well after the flood has passed. Power and gas may also be affected so be sure to have plenty of canned food prepared. You will also want to plan and practice an evacuation in the event that one is mandated by local Jacksonville authorities.
- Prepare Your Home For The Flood
Your home and property are designed to move water away from the structure. Be sure that all gutters and downspouts are cleared as are street-side storm grates. If you have a generator on-site be sure to secure it and its fuel supply firmly to either the ground or your home. Take the extra time to elevate expensive items, such as appliances, off the floor to a level at least 12 inches higher than the projected flood elevation. This will save costly repairs and replacements after the storm. Lastly, move all outdoor furniture including chairs, tables and outdoor grills into the garage and secure them well.
- Safeguard Your Valuables
Keep copies of all insurance policies and your agent's contact information in a waterproof box or safe. This can be part of a larger "flood file" that also includes important local numbers for law enforcement, the fire department and post-flood cleaning companies. Financial records and reciepts of major purchases and household items can also be included with photographs of the items for your insurance claims adjuster.
Bissell & Associates wants you to be as prepared as possible for the potential harms that can affect your property and loved ones. If you are uncertain about the coverages offered by your current plan we encourage you to call us today for a complete review.