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We’re three weeks away from the start of hurricane season, and Florida’s emergency responders are ready. Are you? The Governor’s Hurricane Conference commenced this week, and its theme was “Moving Forward in Changing Times.” The messages, however, were clearly about the challenges faced in these changing times.
Buying—and maintaining—flood insurance is important, especially given Florida’s vulnerability to flood damage. But flood waters are not the only ground water that can get into your home. If your sewer backed up, that would really stink – in more ways than one. Standard homeowners policies do not cover sewer backup; a separate, affordable optional endorsement can be added to your policy to cover it.
Here in Florida, the aftermath of Storm Sandy may be primarily a memory for most people. Too bad it can’t be a lesson.
I was in New York and New Jersey last week, helping the Insurance Information Institute with educational outreach to consumers and media regarding the insurance process after a disaster. For me, it’s déjà vu all over again – because no matter the type of natural disaster or its target, the same questions and drama play out time and again. People tend to overlook or underestimate their risk, and this is a costly error.
Your hurricane experience could be all wrong. If you’ve been through a Category 3 storm and figure a Category 1 will be three times less powerful and, therefore, three times less eventful, you could be in for an unfortunate surprise. Some residents of coastal Louisiana may have underestimated Hurricane Isaac, especially if they were measuring the storm against Hurricane Katrina.
It’s hurricane season, rainy season and, therefore, flood season. Most of us Floridians rather like the rain, preferring it to snow for obvious reasons. The American poet Ogden Nash said rain is nicer than snow because you don’t have rain plows piling up rain in six-foot piles where you want to go. No, we don’t have rain plows, so the water goes where it can, not where we choose to pile it. And, that can be an insurance problem if you don’t have flood insurance.