Boynton Beach can be vulnerable to severe damage caused by high winds and associated flooding. Most people consider their home and its contents their largest investment. Most standard homeowner insurance policies do not cover flood damage. Separate flood insurance policies backed by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) are available and affordable, in case of a future flood event that is caused by a hurricane, tropical storm, heavy rain, sea level rise or other condition.
It is important to note that today's hazards may be more severe in the near future. Sea level rise will cause increased flooding in certain coastal and inland areas. Find out if your property will be affected and what measures you can take to increase resilience by visiting the Coastal Resilience Partnership website. Questions? Call 561-742-6366.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a flood is defined as a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or of two or more properties (at least one of which is the policyholder's property) from one of the following:
- Overflow of inland or tidal waters;
- Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source;
- Mudflow; or
- Collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or a similar body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels that result in a flood as defined above.
For a more thorough explanation of floods and floodplains, please review the National Flood Insurance Program's "Floodplain Management Requirements - A Study Guide and Desk Reference for Local Officials".
- Floods are the most common and widespread of all natural disasters outside of fire
- 90% of all presidential-declared U.S. natural disasters involve flooding
- Floods occur within all 50 states (they can occur any time, anywhere)
- Communities particularly at risk are those in low-lying areas, coastal areas, or downstream from large bodies of water
- 25% of flooding occurs outside areas formally designated as being flood prone (i.e. Special Flood Hazard Areas)
- Nation-wide, flooding caused more than $4 billion a year in losses and 2,200 deaths in the 1990s
- There is a 26% chance of experiencing a flood during the life of a 30-year mortgage (more than 6 times the likelihood of a fire)
- Even minor flooding can cost homeowners thousands of dollars in losses and repairs
- Flood damage is virtually never covered by standard homeowners insurance
- Flood insurance purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is relatively inexpensive (the average premium for $100,000 coverage is a little over $300 per year at this writing)
- Today NFIP insures more than 4 million policyholders in more than 19,000 communities in the U.S
- Florida residents and businesses hold more than 40% of all flood insurance policies in the nation
In 1968, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to help provide a means for property owners to financially protect themselves. The NFIP offers flood insurance to homeowners, renters, and business owners if their community participates in the NFIP. Participating communities, such as the City of Boynton Beach, agree to adopt and enforce ordinances that meet or exceed FEMA requirements to reduce the risk of flooding. The three tenants to the NFIP are as follows:
As we have learned, flood hazard areas are defined as any area that has a 1% chance of flooding in any given year (a.k.a. the 100-year flood). You should become informed as to the flood hazard potential for your property. The following options will help you find out if your property is located in a flood zone:
- The City of Boynton Beach Development Department will review the best available floodplain information and studies on file to determine the location of your property with respect to the floodplain. The Development Department can also provide site-specific information, such as problems not shown on the flood map, special flood-related hazards, historical flood information, elevation, and property protection alternatives. You may contact the Development Department at 561-742-6350 for assistance with this information.
- If you would like to review FEMA's Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) yourself, they are available for public viewing at the FEMA Map Service Center website.
- Palm Beach County Flood Zones Interactive Map - Individuals may look up the proximity of their property to flood zones by address here.
Did you know that there is a 26% chance a structure will flood over the life of a 30-year mortgage? You can protect your home and its contents through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Flood insurance is required by law in order to obtain federally secure financing to buy, build, or renovate a structure located in a flood-hazard area. This financing includes federal grants, Federal Housing Administration (FHA) and Veterans Affairs (VA) loans, and most conventional mortgage loans.
Flood insurance policies aren't just for owners - renters can purchase policies too! Flood insurance policies are obtained through local property insurance agents. The agents may sell a policy from the Write Your Own insurance companies or a "direct" policy through FEMA. Both approaches will result in the issuance of a "Standard Flood Insurance Policy" that meets all the requirements and rates set by FEMA. Flood insurance coverage is provided for insurable buildings and their contents for properties located in the City of Boynton Beach, which is a participating community of the NFIP. In fact, policy owners receive a 25% discount because the City participates in the NFIP Community Rating System (CRS). Call the Development Department at 561-742-6350 if you have a question about flood insurance or visit the FloodSmart website.