If you live in Florida, or for that matter any hurricane prone area, a common subject of discussion is in fact hurricanes. Over the years I have heard a lot of comments like " no problem that's why I have insurance so I'll just leave and let the insurance company take care of it." Here's a classic "Big deal it's just a little wind and rain we'll board up the windows and ride it out". Here's one that will likely get you killed "I'm going down to the marina and keep an eye on my thirty thousand dollar boat". This one's almost ridiculous "my house is brand new it'll take it".
First of all, you will most likely not just leave unless you plan on riding it out in your car stuck in a traffic jam.
Secondly, I wouldn't bet all my nickels on insurance, Andrew cost these guys 22 Billion Dollars. They are taking long hard looks at what they will insure and what protection systems were in place on homes they do insure.
How about stocking up on all the supplies like water food etc. and riding it out in a poorly protected home? You will quite likely end up with four walls, no roof, no windows and no supplies The wind and possibly looters will help take care of this. To complete this aggravation you can expect to be without electricity for 2 weeks to 2 months. Don't worry though, you can expect some form of help in 5 days to a week and insurance checks will start rolling in after a month or two.
Now comes the guy who bought his new home in a neat development where all the houses look nice and pretty much alike and sell for between 100,000 and 200000 dollars with the nice amenities.
These are what, in the building industry, are often called tract housing. A developer /builder will negotiate his construction materials on say 100 homes and will buy the very cheapest products available that will meet or at least get by the local building codes. Although this not true of all builders, it is more prevalent than you might think. Reputable builders can provide appropriate documentation to support quality building products. The Miami-Dade Building Code Compliance Office was the first in putting strict controls in place to prevent this. The precedent they set is rapidly migrating up the east coast of Florida and where building departments haven't begun proper regulation, insurance companies are simply refusing insurance.
There is a theme that runs through all the stories told by survivors of hurricanes and other natural disasters which potential disaster victims never seem to notice. The extreme sense of personal loss that they have experienced which goes far beyond the stuff that insurance replaced. Many of these problems are avoidable with just a little forethought and I am sometimes amazed at the attitudes some people have towards these issues.