Especially unprepared

Florida. Floods. Insurance.

Homeowners insurance policies typically don’t cover flood damage, and most people living in Ian’s path across Florida didn’t have a separate flood insurance policy. Inland areas that experienced historic rainfall and catastrophic floodwaters were especially unprepared, according to a CNN analysis of FEMA flood insurance data.

Because usually the catastrophic flooding happens on the coasts, not inland.

In Seminole County, northeast of Orlando, more than 5,200 residential buildings have been damaged by the storm, primarily due to flooding, according to a county spokesperson. “We’ve never had anything to this nature,” said Jay Zembower, a Seminole County commissioner, calling the flooding “a 500-plus-year event of quick rainfall in a short window of time.”

But “a 500-plus-year event” doesn’t mean anything now, because The Climate Is Changing.

Congress could also pass additional disaster aid – like lawmakers did in the wake of previous major hurricanes, like Katrina, Sandy and Harvey. But it could take months or longer for the funding to be approved and for affected communities to receive it, Wright said.

Experts like Wright said that the widespread damage from Ian should be a wake-up call that far more homeowners around the US need to purchase flood insurance – even if they don’t own a waterfront property. That’s especially the case as climate change leads to stronger and more frequent storms.

Yes but at the same time, insurance isn’t magic. It’s not an infinite supply of money that will never disappear and will always be there if you just buy it. At some point the disasters are going to outrun the insurance companies and federal insurance.

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