Flood Insurance Fort Myers Fl – Damaged homes after Hurricane Ian in Fort Myers Beach on Thursday. Wilfredo Lee / AP
- 1. Flood Insurance Fort Myers Fl
- 2. Map Of Lee County Flood Zones
- 3. Cape Coral Residents Could Face High Flood Insurance Premiums
Hundreds of thousands of homes in Florida are in flood risk zones that have not been designated by the federal government, and many homeowners are facing significant damage after Hurricane Ian.
Flood Insurance Fort Myers Fl
According to data from the First Street Foundation, a nonprofit research group, nearly 350,000 properties in the state are at risk of flooding, but are not identified as high risk on Federal Emergency Management Agency flood maps.
Florida Has A Flood Problem And Insurance Problem
More than half, about 186,000, are in a hard-hit area on Florida’s west coast, where residents have been issued mandatory evacuation orders.
“A lot of people won’t have flood insurance because they won’t be told they’re at risk of flooding,” said Matthew Eby, CEO of the First Street Foundation. “With a storm like this, the impact is going to be catastrophic for those homeowners.
Ian was one of the strongest storms to hit the United States. After making landfall on Wednesday, the Category 4 hurricane devastated much of the region, but the extent of its destruction is not yet known.
In Charlotte County, where the storm killed at least six people, FEMA maps do not include more than 50,000 homes at risk, data from the First Street Foundation shows.
Florida Flooding Focuses Attention On Uninsured Americans
An additional 48,500 homes are at risk in Lee County, and officials say Ian’s damage was extensive in Cayo Costa, Fort Myers and Cape Coral. Another 51,500 are in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties, where Tampa and St. Petersburg are located, the nonprofit said.
Experts say those without flood insurance can face costs of more than $50,000 for structural repairs and mold removal. It does not include the cost of replacing damaged appliances, furniture and property.
“It’s limitless,” said Jennifer Lizardi, manager of South Florida Neighborhood Housing Services, a nonprofit that helps homebuyers.
FEMA says a single inch of flooding can cause up to $25,000 in damage. The average loss paid out for Hurricane Harvey, which devastated Texas in 2017, was $116,800, according to the Insurance Information Institute.
Flood Insurance Costs Are Set To Skyrocket For Some
Flooding is the nation’s most common and costliest natural disaster, but many are unprepared, the agency says.
A 2020 survey by the group found that 27 percent of all American homeowners insurance policyholders said they have flood insurance. Wharton’s Center for Risk Management and Decision Making also found that, on average, 30% of homes in the nation’s highest-risk areas have flood coverage.
Before closing on a property, mortgage lenders require homebuyers in FEMA flood zones to purchase additional flood insurance. But some first-time homeowners who don’t face that mandate may choose not to because of high premiums in the face of high closing costs, Lizardi said.
“It’s out of sight, out of mind. That’s going to be your normal situation,” he said. “If I’m not in a flood zone, I don’t have to worry about it. It’s a low cost for me.”
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Others may forgo flood insurance because of a lack of awareness. According to a 2021 survey by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, about 56 percent of consumers incorrectly assumed that flooding would be covered by their homeowner’s policies.
Newcomers to Florida may not be aware of the flood risks local residents face, said John Pantoja, CEO and controller of South Florida Neighborhood Housing Services.
In the first full year of the pandemic, Florida’s population grew by nearly 361,000 residents — the strongest annual increase since 2006, according to the Florida Bureau of Economic and Demographic Research (EDR), the research arm of the state legislature.
“It will be a learning process,” said Pantoja. “People who come here will have that shock at first.”
Map Of Lee County Flood Zones
Eby said that’s why it’s so important for people to have accurate and up-to-date information to determine their true flood risk.
The First Street Foundation said FEMA takes into account the effects of heavy rainfall, minor waterway flooding and climate change and updates its models annually.
A 2017 investigation by the Department of Homeland Security’s inspector general found that FEMA “must improve its management and oversight of flood mapping projects to meet or revise its program goals and ensure accurate and timely flood mapping.”
FEMA did not respond to the request Thursday. On its website, the agency said it “constantly releases new flood maps and data, giving communities across America access to useful and authoritative data that can be used to make decisions about flood risk.”
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However, FEMA’s flood maps aren’t the only way homeowners can be made aware of potential danger, said Michael Barry, a spokesman for the Insurance Information Institute.
“In addition to the information that FEMA collects, there’s a lot of data that speaks to flood risk,” he said.
For example, Barry said, homebuyers should request a comprehensive loss insurance exchange, or CLUE report, which can give them up to seven years of claims.
Climate change will make massive floods more frequent and more destructive, putting more homes at risk, Eby says.
Congress Can Fix Flood Insurance This Year
Melissa Chan is a reporter for NBC News Digital covering veterans affairs, military mental health and gun violence. Cape Coral | Fort Myers | Fort Myers Beach | Estero | Bonita Springs | Naples | Sanibel Island | Captiva Island
Flood zones are geographic areas defined by FEMA based on different flood hazards. These zones are shown on the community’s Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) or flood hazard boundary map. Each zone reflects the severity or type of flooding in the area.
This does not mean that you will automatically pay a higher insurance premium in a flood risk area. It also depends on the property you want to buy. If it is a 40-year-old house built on a 6-day elevation, you will pay more. However, if you are building a new home and the dirt required to fill it is up to 9.5 meters in elevation, for example in the same neighborhood, your insurance premium will probably be lower for a relatively low home.
Whether or not you want to pay for flood insurance is up to you if you’re buying or building a home with cash. If you use home financing, the bank will definitely mandate flood insurance.
Cape Coral Residents Could Face High Flood Insurance Premiums
0.2% annual flood areas; 1% annual chance floodplains with an average depth of less than 1 foot or drainage areas less than a square mile; and areas protected from 1% flooding by reservoirs.
A 1% annual flood (lOO year flood), also known as the base flood, is a flood that has a 1% probability of equaling or exceeding in any given year. A special flood risk area is an area that is flooded by 1% of annual floods. The base flood elevation is the water surface elevation of the 1% annual flood.
Base flood elevations are not specified because detailed analyzes are not carried out for such areas; No flood elevations or depths are shown in these zones.
Coastal areas with a 1% or greater chance of flooding and additional risks from storm surges. These areas have a 26% chance of flooding over the 30-year mortgage period. Baseline flood patterns derived from detailed studies are shown for selected time periods within these areas.
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Federally-backed mortgages require flood insurance for properties with structures located in an A, AE, or VE zone.
You can enter your address on the FEMA website and get detailed information about your flood zone. Please contact your insurance agent for flood insurance quotes.
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How do I know if my property is at risk of flooding and, if so, how bad?
You may have heard the term “FIRM MAP”. FIRM is a map created by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) for flood management and insurance. You can get digital versions of these maps; DFIRMs.
FIRMs typically show your community’s base flood elevation, flood zones, and flood plain boundaries. You can use this map to get a reliable indication of the flood zone where you are. These maps are constantly updated due to topographic changes, construction and mitigation activities, and weather events, so for a truly accurate decision, contact us or your community flood manager.
Areas with a high risk of flooding
Five Questions To Ask About Flood Insurance
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