Florida "Hurricane Free" Record Seven Straight Years

Insurance Group warns consumers not to drop flood insurance

ORLANDO, Fla. - Call it Florida's Lucky seven.

The 2012 hurricane season ends Friday marking a record seven consecutive years that Florida has been spared a hurricane's punch, prompting the Insurance Information Institute to remind consumers that flooding insurance should not be a casualty of our good fortune.

The Institute Tuesday, said Florida's hurricane free years may have given some people reason to question the need for flood insurance.

"Many people think they are not at risk because they live in a low-risk flood zone, but low risk is not the same as no risk," said Lynne  McChristian, Florida representative for the I.I.I. "Nearly 20 percent of flood insurance claims come from low- to moderate risk areas."

The I.I.I. said Superstorm Sandy "proved that even lesser storms can cause widespread devastation."

It's hard to imagine that Sandy was not a major hurricane given the widespread destruction she delivered to the northeast.

The Institute says damage estimates from Sandy range from $25 to $50 billion, with about half that amount covered by private insurance.

According to the Institute the remainder of the insurance claims will be related to flood losses, yet only 14 percent of homeowners in the Northeast have flood insurance.

The I.I.I. warns that Florida's potential risk of flooding remains high.

The group points to Tropical Storm Debby, as a Florida example of a tropical storm's power to generate devastating flooding.

According to the Institute, seven consecutive years without a hurricane is the longest such streak for Florida in recorded history, with records going back to 1851.

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