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FEMA Urges Florida Residents to Buy Flood Insurance

FEMA said it paid more than $300 million in flood claims after Hurricane Idalia.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) urged Florida residents to purchase flood insurance after paying out more than 5,000 flood claims from Hurricane Idalia totaling more than $300 million.

In Florida, 468 communities participate in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), so residents can purchase a flood insurance policy no matter the flood risk. Coverage is available for commercial and residential properties. Ten communities in Florida do not participate in the program. 

“Many Florida residents believe they don't need to buy flood insurance. They don't live in a high-risk flood zone. But flooding can happen anywhere, often to the surprise of residents who thought they were covered for disaster. When flooding happens, the damage is typically not covered by most standard homeowners' insurance policies. One inch of floodwater can cause up to $25,000 of damage in a home,” a FEMA official said

After Hurricane Idalia, FEMA provided Group Flood Insurance Policies (GFIP) to homeowners and renters. The group policies are 36-month NFIP insurance certificates for disaster survivors who live in a high-risk flood zone, sustain flood damage, do not have flood insurance and receive FEMA disaster assistance. 

When a GFIP certificate expires, the policy holder is responsible for obtaining and maintaining flood insurance. Failure to maintain flood insurance affects their eligibility for future disaster assistance, FEMA said. 

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