Florida homeowners often underestimate low probability high severity flood risks. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) mapping zones tend to give homeowners located outside the high risk special hazard flood zone areas a false sense of security by promoting a narrative that those properties are at minimal-risk of flooding.

Climate change is increasing flood risks in several non-conventional flooding scenarios. See below:

Greater Precipitation:

Changes in rainfall and other forms of precipitation will be one of the most critical factors determining the overall impact of climate change. A warmer atmosphere can hold more moisture, and globally water vapor increases by 7% for every degree centigrade of warming. How this will translate into changes in global precipitation is less clear, but the total volume of precipitation is likely to increase by 1-2% per degree of warming.

Tidal Flooding:

Tidal flooding, nuisance flooding, and or sunny day flooding can happen under blazing, cloudless skies and is perhaps the most tangible sign of climate change yet, say scientists. It is not new, but it is happening much more frequently due to climate change-related sea level rise, the erosion of natural coastal barriers, and land subsidence, or the gradual sinking of the ground in places where cities are built on sediments rather than bedrock. Combined, these forces push the highest of tides into coastal towns and cities, bringing floods that can close roads, overwhelm storm drains, damage infrastructure and property, and threaten public health. In the United States, the East and Gulf coasts are most vulnerable—particularly in parts of southern Florida

Storm Surge:

With climate changing, sea levels rising and the constant threat for tropical cyclones, densely populated South Florida is becoming increasingly vulnerable to storm surge flooding. According to the Miami Herald, some 2.4 million people and 1.3 million homes are within 4 feet of the local high-tide line.

Uninsured Flood Risk Examples:

On August 2017, Hurricane Harvey impacted Texas and Louisiana. Corelogic estimated 70 percent of flood damage from Harvey is not covered by any insurance.
During October of 2016, Hurricane Matthew affected multiple states. According to Aon Benfield, most of the insured loss total occurred in the U.S., approximately $4 billion, or roughly 89% of the total. In the U.S. alone economic losses totaled around $10 billion, and insured losses $4 billion, representing a broad tropical cyclone protection gap (disparity between economic and insured losses post-event) in the U.S., one of the most developed insurance markets in the world. “This meant that about 60 percent of the overall loss total went uninsured; a higher than normal percentage for tropical cyclone events,” said Aon Benfield, in a recently published report on the impact of Hurricane Matthew.
On August 13, 2016, Louisiana suffered massive residential flooding after heavy rains inundated the region. James Donelon, Louisiana’s Commissioner of Insurance reported only about 12 percent of residences were covered by flood insurance in Baton Rouge, and only 14 percent were covered in Lafayette.

FAIR proposes the following:

As an aspirational goal, we would advocate that all residential homeowners with federally backed mortgages regardless of which mapping zone they are located within to purchase flood insurance coverage.
Support research projects to determine the different drivers that are adversely impacting low flood insurance take-up rates.
Support outreach projects to educate property owners about their individual flood risk and the value of purchasing flood insurance coverage.

The proposal accomplishes the following:

Shields tax-payers from having to subsidize uninsured catastrophic losses.
Narrows the insurance protection gap for flood risk.

Incentivizes greater resiliency through mitigation.
Opens market opportunities for the reinsurance and insurance industry.
Stabilizes the private reinsurance industry by expanding and diversifying its risk offerings.

Please consider joining FAIR as a member, or making a tax-deductible donation to the FAIR Foundation, and becoming part of a critical movement that works to safeguard consumers.

Sign the petition to support reforms to Assignment of Benefits abuse and the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund