Deborah Palmer let the flood-insurance policy on her Florida preschool lapse when it was forced to close during the pandemic two years ago and never gave it a thought. Until Hurricane Ian.

As the monster storm bore down on Florida’s western coast this week, the 71-year-old fled her home in Venice to shelter in the former school, situated in a less vulnerable neighborhood. While winds howled and rain thundered down, “I thought, ‘Great move, genius, dropping flood insurance when the biggest storm in a century is coming through,'” she said. “I really gambled.”

A majority of Florida homeowners caught in the hurricane’s path now face rebuilding without the benefit of flood insurance — and some might not even realize they’re uncovered.

Ian made landfall in Florida Wednesday with 150-mile (241 kilometers) per-hour winds and a swell of seawater that inundated Naples, Fort Myers and other cities. Damage estimates quickly began climbing, with at least one reaching $100 billion. The latest projection for insured losses from risk modeler Karen Clark & Co. is almost $63 billion.... Read More: Bloomberg