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Boca Raton property owner purchases flood insurance hours before storm damages property

'This is like the worst storm we've probably seen here in 20 years,' Marshall Sklar says
Posted at 3:32 PM, Nov 16, 2023

BOCA RATON, Fla. — A Boca Raton property owner told WPTV he almost had an insurance policy on one of his properties canceled because he didn't have flood insurance. Hours later, the home's backyard was covered in downed trees and debris.

"This is our yard this morning. Big tree fell. It's on the wires right here," one of Sklar's tenants was heard saying on cell phone video.

Sklar is a Boca Raton real estate broker who owns properties all over South Florida. He said he received that video from one of his tenants in Hallandale Beach early Thursday.

"This is like the worst storm we've probably seen here in 20 years," Sklar said. "The last time we had damage was about 2005."

Marshall Sklar property owner Boca Raton property damage Nov 16 2023
Property owner Marshall Sklar discusses how one if his properties in Boca Raton, Fla. sustained damage.

Luckily, he's covered through his insurance, but he learned something important hours before the wind and rain rolled in.

"I actually got a cancellation of the policy on the house where this happened yesterday because I didn't have flood insurance," Sklar said. "Just this morning, I signed up for flood insurance.”"

Insurance agents WPTV spoke with said this is fairly common.

Florida Peninsula Insurance Company co-founder Stacey Giulianti November 16 2023.png
Florida Peninsula Insurance Company co-founder Stacey Giulianti explains how homeowners forget to add flood insurance, which is a separate policy.

"Homeowners insurance covers your home, but not for flood," Stacey Giulianti, co-founder of Florida Peninsula Insurance Company, said. "You have to have a separate flood insurance policy because that's a separate, really dangerous type of event."

Giulianti said many homeowners, especially those new to Florida, don't realize this.

He said food damage is often very pricey. One inch of water can cost $25,000.

"So, to spend $400, $500 maybe $600 a year on premiums, $40 or $50 a month, one inch of water is going to cost $25,000 in damage," Giulianti said. "Seems to me like a no-brainer."