It was once hard to imagine flooding around Orlando – now it’s not. Central Fla. residents can no longer think, “No worries. I’m not near the coast.”

ORLANDO, Fla. – Flooding caused by Hurricane Ian is likely to persist in metro Orlando as rivers continue to rise, and floodwaters can lead to billions of dollars in damage to homes.

“The bottom line is a lot of people should’ve had [flood insurance] who didn’t,” says Greenberg Traurig attorney Fred Karlinsky.

Flood insurance is not a common coverage among homeowners in inland Orlando. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) data show 12,055 active flood insurance policies in Orange County, which would cover 2% of the 575,826 housing units the U.S. Census Bureau reports are in the county.

The coverage disparities in other counties are not much better, with Lake having 3,460 active policies vs. 182,327 housing units, Osceola having 7,364 active policies vs. 162,335 housing units, and Seminole having 6,424 active policies vs. 196,649 housing units.

“Flooding is the most prevalent risk out there,” Karlinsky says.

Real estate professionals are hopeful that recent flooding and Hurricane Ian will show homeowners the importance of flood insurance.

“I don’t think this will scare people away from Florida,” says Wemert Group Realty LLC Realtor Danielle O’Quinn. “In the purchase of a home, there will need to be more conversations with the Realtor and bank about types of insurance, figuring out how it factors into payment.”

Source: Orlando Business Journal (10/04/22) Soderstrom, Alex

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