Flood Insurance Florida.

General Information

Flooding is a serious risk in Florida due to the state’s geography and proximity to water, both inland and on the coast. Insurance to cover this risk is not typically provided in a homeowner’s policy, so it must be purchased separately. Depending on a home’s location, flood insurance may be a required purchase as a condition of a mortgage.

A vast majority of flood insurance coverage is federally regulated and provided through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is administered through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). To qualify for flood insurance, a community must join the NFIP and agree to enforce sound floodplain management standards. When this happens, the residents in that community are allowed to participate in and purchase flood insurance coverage through the NFI

In 2012, Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Reform Act (BW) extending the NFIP for five years and requiring significant program reform measures. The law’s implementation consists of gradual changes to the NFIP over the course of several years.

Commissioner McCarty, Florida's Insurance Commissioner, issued a press release in April 2013 warning homeowners of the expected price increases taking effect on October 1, 2013 due to these reforms. The Commissioner worked diligently to compile and present information to the Governor's Office and Florida Legislature about the potential negative effects it would have on Florida's property insurance market.

As predicted, the new changes led to unintended consequences for thousands of Floridians who began to see drastic price increases on new and renewal flood insurance policies offered through the NFIP. Florida's Governor and legislators urged the President and Congress to act swiftly in re-addressing BW to provide relief for Florida consumers and lessen the impact to the state's real estate market.

In May 2014, the Florida Legislature passed SB 542, which streamlines the process for private insurance carriers to write flood insurance in Florida. Commissioner McCarty issued a statement advocating in support of it on May 1, 2014. The legislation enhances consumer choice and provides an alternative to the NFIP. Three different types of flood coverage are allowed, all of which begin with the basic coverage provided under a standard NFIP policy. On June 13, 2014, Governor Scott officially signed it into law.

Understanding Your Flood Risk

High-Risk Areas
(Special Flood Hazard Area or SFHA)

In high-risk areas, there is at least a 1 in 4 chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage. All home and business owners in these areas with mortgages from federally regulated or insured lenders are required to buy flood insurance. They are shown on the flood maps as zones beginning with the letters 'A' or 'V.'

Moderate- to Low-Risk Areas
(Non-special Flood Hazard Area or NSFHA)

In moderate- to low-risk areas, the risk of flooding is reduced but not completely removed. These areas submit more than 20 percent of National Flood Insurance Program claims and receive one-third of Federal disaster assistance for flooding. Flood insurance isn't federally required in moderate- to low-risk areas, but it is recommended for all property owners and renters. They are shown on flood maps as zones beginning with the letters 'B', 'C' or 'X' (or a shaded X).

Undetermined Risk Areas

Some flood maps also include areas where there are possible but undetermined flood hazards or unstudied areas. Flood insurance rates reflect the uncertainty of the flood risk. These areas are shown on flood maps as areas beginning with the letter 'D.'

The Cost Of Flooding To your Home

All it takes is a few inches of water to cause major damage to your home and its contents.

The National Flood insurance program has conducted studies to show the impact on consumer wallets.

The Average damage to a 2,000 square feet home that sustains 6 Inches of water is $27,000.

If that same home sustains 1 Foot flooding and the damages skyrocket to $61,500.

Looking across all 35 years, the mean flood claim is $33,764 (in 2012$)

Flooding is the most common natural disaster.

• Anywhere it can rain, it can flood.

• You don't need to live near a coastline or river to have a flood. Flash floods, inland flooding, and seasonal storms bring flooding to every region of the country.

• Just a few inches of water can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage.

Most homeowners insurance does not cover floods

• Only flood insurance financially covers your home and your personal property from floods.

• A flood insurance policy compensates homeowners, renters, and business owners for all covered losses, and unlike a Federal disaster loan, it does not have to be repaid.

You can’t get flood insurance at the last minute

• In most cases, it takes 30 days after purchase for a policy to take effect, so it's important to buy insurance before the storm approaches and the floodwaters start to rise.

If you are in a high-risk area, flood insurance may be mandatory

• If you live in a high-risk area and you carry a mortgage from a federally regulated or insured lender, flood insurance is required

If you own your property outright, you still should be covered by flood insurance

• Statistics show that if you live in a high-risk zone, you are more likely to experience a flood than a fire.

You can purchase flood insurance no matter your flood risk

• It doesn't matter whether your flood risk is high or low, you can buy flood insurance as long as your community participates in the NFIP.

• You can get flood insurance if your house has been flooded before, even if your mortgage doesn't require it.

• Outside of the high-risk Special Flood Hazard Area, most properties will qualify for the lower-cost Preferred Risk Policy.

• Even though flood insurance isn't federally required, anyone can be financially vulnerable to floods. In fact, people outside of mapped high-risk flood areas file nearly 25% of all National Flood Insurance Program flood insurance claims and receive one-third of Federal Disaster Assistance for flooding.

 

Preferred Risk Policies provide flood protection at the best price

• Qualifying homeowners in moderate- to low-risk areas can purchase a lower-cost policy.

• Qualifying renters can purchase contents-only coverage for buildings in moderate- to low-risk areas.

• A lower-cost PRP also is available to business owners with up to $500,000 building coverage and $500,000 contents coverage (per building).

• Business owners who lease their space can purchase contents-only coverage.

• To qualify for a PRP, the property must be located in a moderate- to low-risk area and meet loss history requirements.

• Two claims or disaster relief payments of $1,000 or more for flooding, or three flood losses of any amount, make the structure ineligible for the PRP.

As always, our main priority is educating our Homeowners. For a free, no-hassle Flood Insurance quote, speak directly to one of our agents at 1-888-913-6988 or submit your quote on our online quote system.

 

WHAT COVERAGES ARE AVAILABLE ON A FLORIDA FLOOD INSURANCE

o    The insured building and its foundation.

o    The electrical and plumbing systems.

o    Central air conditioning equipment, furnaces, and water heaters.

o    Refrigerators, cooking stoves, and built-in appliances such as dishwashers.

o    Permanently installed carpeting over an unfinished floor.

o    Permanently installed paneling, wallboard, bookcases, and cabinets.

o    Detached garages (up to 10 percent of Building Property coverage). Detached buildings (other than garages) require a separate Building Property policy.

o    Debris removal.

o    Personal belongings such as clothing, furniture, and electronic equipment.

o    Portable and window air conditioners.

o    Portable microwave ovens and portable dishwashers.

o    Carpets not included in building coverage (see above).

o    Clothes washers and dryers.

o    Food freezers and the food in them.

o    The insured building and its foundation.

o    Certain valuable items such as original artwork and furs (up to $2,500).