It took less than a month to the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season to become one of the worst in recorded history.
The storm surge increased water and tides more than 12 feet above ground level in some areas. Harvey shattered rain records as it meandered for days, with some areas receiving over 40 inches of rain in less than two days.
According to investigators, Irma is one of the strongest storms to roam the Atlantic Basin in more than a decade. Irma had sustained winds of 185 mph for 37 hours, that is the longest any cyclone anywhere in the world has maintained that level of intensity.
The whole island suffered catastrophic damage. In certain places the damage was complete.
As an independent insurance broker living and working in South Florida for over 30 years, preparing for and recovering after storms is nothing new. However , this year was different. As Hurricane Irma was making its way toward the southeastern coast of america, we received an unprecedented number of calls regarding flood insurance. Why?
Everyone saw the catastrophic flooding in Texas due to Hurricane Harvey only a few weeks earlier. The damage was devastating. So was the news that nearly 80% of homeowners in the counties most directly affected by flooding did not have flood insurance.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), floods are the most common and costliest natural catastrophe.
Regrettably, too many homeowners and businesses refuse to carry flood insurance only because they’re not located in a high-risk flooding zone. Hurricane Harvey taught us that when it comes to flooding, mother nature doesn’t listen to FEMA’s flood zone maps.
Flood zones are always being re-mapped, but it’s a long process which can take years. Upgraded maps quickly become obsolete. Moreover, the process of identifying property that’s susceptible to flooding is not a perfect science. For example, flood zone determinations fail to adequately consider:
Localized drainage problems;
topographic variances on individual properties; or
the failure of flood control systems.
This is why everyone should seriously consider flood insurance, no matter whether they can be found in a high-risk flood zone. Premiums are relatively affordable, particularly when you consider the risks assumed by a flood insurance policy, like the:
overflow of inland or tidal waters;
collapse of property along a body of water from waves or waves; and
rapid accumulation of surface waters from any source, such as blocked storm drains and broken water pipes below the surface of the ground.
Uninsured flood damage can devastate any home or business. Over the course of just a few weeks, we have seen the landfall of not one, not two, but three hurricanes which rank among the strongest storms in recorded history. This is the reason those relying on flood zone maps to justify their decision to not buy flood insurance should seriously reconsider.