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Protecting Paradise: Alarming Statistics Show 1-in-4 Residents Are Willing to Defy Evacuation Warnings

June 15, 2023

As summer approaches, the allure of pristine beaches and vibrant sunsets beckons Floridians to enjoy the season's bliss. However, amidst the allure, the looming threat of hurricanes casts a shadow over paradise. The American Automobile Association (AAA) has conducted a groundbreaking survey to shed light on the state of Hurricane Preparedness among Floridians. With 1-in-4 residents willing to defy evacuation warnings and a startling 67% lacking Flood Insurance, it is evident that education and comprehensive coverage are paramount.

AAA published the findings of their survey and provides valuable insights into insurance policies that can safeguard both property and travel plans during Hurricane Season. Join us as we explore the implications of these statistics, delve into the importance of Flood Insurance, and discover the top insurance policies recommended to ensure peace of mind for Floridians facing the tumultuous Storm Season.

The recent survey conducted by AAA exposes a concerning lack of preparedness among Florida residents as Hurricane Season approaches. Astonishingly, 1-in-5 Floridians (19%) fail to make any advanced preparations for severe weather. Equally disquieting is the fact that 24% of respondents admitted they would disregard Evacuation Warnings, putting their lives and properties at grave risk. Among those who would consider evacuating, a mere 56% would take action only when a Hurricane reaches a Category 3 or higher on the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Wind Scale. Understanding the motivations behind these decisions is crucial in addressing the gaps in preparedness. Survey respondents revealed a variety of reasons for ignoring Evacuation Warnings, including a desire to stay and repair Property Damage (40%), inability to accommodate pets (30%), faith in the storm changing course (22%), lack of knowledge regarding Evacuation Destinations (18%), fear of looting (17%), and financial constraints (15%).

Importance of Adequate Insurance Coverage
In the face of such alarming statistics, AAA urges Floridians to prioritize their safety and financial security by ensuring they have adequate Insurance Coverage. Hurricanes and Severe Weather can wreak havoc on homes, vehicles, and travel plans. Understanding the intricacies of Insurance Policies is crucial for protecting one's Assets. Here are the top Insurance Policies recommended by AAA for Comprehensive Coverage during Hurricane Season:

Homeowner's Insurance: While this policy covers Wind Damage to your property, it does not extend to Flood Damage caused by rising water. Homeowners are strongly advised to acquire separate Flood Insurance Policies to ensure full protection.

Flood Insurance: Flooding is a common and devastating consequence of Severe Weather, often causing extensive damage. AAA emphasizes that Flood Insurance is essential for all homeowners, regardless of their property's Flood Zone Classification. Waiting until a storm forms can be perilous, as new Flood Insurance Policies issued through FEMA have a Mandatory 30-day waiting period.

Comprehensive Auto Coverage: To safeguard against potential Vehicle Damage from fallen trees, Flooding, or Hail during a Hurricane, AAA advises Motorists to ensure they have Comprehensive Auto Coverage. It is important to note that Vehicle Damage is not automatically covered under Homeowner's Policies.

Travel Insurance: For those planning Summer or Fall vacations, Travel Insurance provides crucial protection against unforeseen disruptions caused by Severe Weather. Policies are available to reimburse covered losses resulting from flight delays, cancellations, and non-refundable deposits on hotels, cruises, and excursions.

Steps For Homeowners To Take Immediately
In addition to acquiring appropriate Insurance Coverage, AAA emphasizes the importance of taking proactive steps to protect one's property and ensure a smooth Claims Process. Here are some vital actions that Homeowners should undertake without delay:

Review Your Insurance Coverage: Schedule a comprehensive review of your Homeowner's Insurance Policy with a Licensed Agent. Evaluate the adequacy of your coverage, discuss deductibles, and verify that recent home upgrades, such as pools, screen enclosures, and fences, are appropriately protected.

Document And Store Essential Information: Store your Insurance and Flood Policy numbers on your Mobile Phone for quick access during emergencies. Familiarize yourself with various methods of filing Claims, including Online Platforms or Mobile Apps, to expedite the process. Additionally, maintain a thorough inventory of your belongings by recording a video or taking pictures, noting important details such as receipts, purchase dates, and model numbers.

Preserve Important Documents: Store vital documents, including: Birth Certificates, Social Security Cards, and Insurance Policy information, in a portable waterproof container. This precaution ensures these valuable records remain safe from Water Damage during a Hurricane.

The Significance of Flood Insurance
The destructive power of flooding cannot be underestimated, as evidenced by the historic floods that ravaged South Florida earlier this year. AAA emphasizes that Catastrophic Flood Damage can occur regardless of one's residence being in a High-Risk Flood Zone. The organization strongly advocates for all Floridians to consider obtaining Flood Insurance, stressing that delaying this decision until a storm threatens could prove disastrous. Astonishingly, AAA's Survey revealed that a staggering 67% of respondents do not possess Flood Insurance. The reasons cited include residing outside a Flood Zone (57%), lack of prior flooding experiences (34%), concerns about affordability (24%), and a mistaken belief that Homeowner's Insurance provides sufficient Coverage (9%).

Facts About Flood Insurance
To emphasize the importance of Flood Insurance, AAA presents key facts that shed light on the magnitude of flood-related losses and the significance of proper Coverage:

• Annual Flood Damage exceeds $5 Billion nationwide on average, making it the most costly Natural Disaster in the United States.
• In 2022, the National Flood Insurance Program processed over 54,000 Claims, providing Policyholders with over $1.6 Billion in Coverage.
• Hurricane Ian alone resulted in more than 46,000 Claims and $1.5 Billion in Policy Coverage.
• Surprisingly, almost 40% of Flood Insurance Claims originate from homes located outside High-Risk Flood Zones.
• Repairing just one inch of Water Damage in a home can cost over $25,000.
• Flood Insurance Policyholders received an average Claim payment of $68,000 between 2016 and 2021, which never requires repayment.

As Floridians bask in the Summer sun, the specter of Hurricanes looms large. This recent comprehensive Survey exposes alarming statistics surrounding Hurricane Preparedness and highlights the pressing need for proper Insurance Coverage. By prioritizing Safety and securing the right Insurance Policies, Floridians can protect their homes, vehicles, and travel plans from the devastating effects of Severe Weather. Flood Insurance emerges as a critical component of Comprehensive Coverage, as flooding can occur anywhere in the state. By taking immediate action and ensuring they have adequate coverage, Floridians can navigate Hurricane Season with peace of mind, confident that they are well-equipped to weather any storm.

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