Flood Ins. for Hurricane Season? Buy Now

Homebuyers can secure flood insurance right away, but most current homeowners face a 30-day waiting period – and the 2023 hurricane season begins June 1.

ORLANDO, Fla. – Most homeowners insurance policies don’t cover damage from flooding, generally defined as water that rises up from the ground rather than down from the sky. And if homeowners want to be covered for the 2023 hurricane season through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), they should apply now if they want coverage in place by June 1, the official start of the season, since new policies require a 30-day waiting period until they go into effect.

The 30-day waiting period doesn’t impact new homebuyers, however. There’s no waiting period for flood insurance if making, increasing, extending or renewing a mortgage loan, nor if a change is made on an existing policy at the time of renewal.

The number of private firms that offer flood insurance has also expanded recently, and the rules vary by company. However, it’s unlikely any private firm will issue new policies immediately if a hurricane is threatening the state.

For detailed information about flood policies, check the Flood Insurance Manual on NFIP’s website, contact an insurance agent or call NFIP at (877) 336-2627.

Policy terms and expiration

NFIP flood insurance has a policy term of one year. All policies expire at 12:01 a.m. on the last day of the effective term, but the policyholder is still covered for 30 days after expiration. However, loss claims during the 30-day grace period will only be honored if the policyholder pays the yearly renewal rate before the grace period ends.

A lapsed flood policy could present problems for some homeowners if their mortgage lender requires it. A later renewal could also cost more if original rates were discounted.

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