Florida’s coastal and low-lying geography poses a risk of flooding. Most homeowners and renters insurance does not include flood damage. If you own or rent your property in Florida, flood insurance is recommended to avoid financial loss from flood-related damage. If you’re looking at homes in parts of the state where a high likelihood of flooding can damage your home, your mortgage provider will want you to purchase flood insurance.
How Do You Know If You Live in an Area at a High Risk of Flooding?
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides what is known as a flood insurance rate map (FIRM) that shows floodplains, hazard areas, and insurance risk zones.
The map shows areas located within the ‘100-year flood boundary.’ Areas within this boundary are called ‘special flood hazard areas’ or SFHAs, which are marked into different risk zones. The 100-year boundary is a term to indicate that these areas have a 1% chance of flooding in any given year.
|Flood Zone||Flood Risk|
|B & X (shaded)||Moderate (0.2% - 1%)|
|C & X (unshaded)||Moderate (<0.2%)|
|A, AE, AR, A1-30, A99||1% chance of shallow flooding in a year (source undefined)|
|AH||1% chance of shallow flooding in a year from overflowing ponds (at an average depth of 1ft – 3ft)|
|AO||1% chance of flooding in a year from rivers and streams (at an average depth of 1ft – 3ft)|
|V, VE, V1-V30||1% or greater chance of flooding in a year (coastal areas that experience storm waves)|
How Do Flood Zones Affect Florida Flood Insurance Rates?
A high risk of flooding is associated with a higher premium. For a home surrounded by two or more flood zones, the most hazardous zone will be taken into account.
The average annual premium for V, VE, and V1-V30 zones is nearly $7,000; in the range of $3,296 to $1,248 for A, AE and A1-A30, AO and AH; and about $500 for B, C, and X zones.
Where to Buy Flood Insurance in Florida
You have two options: the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or a private insurance company.
Managed by the FEMA, the National Flood Insurance Program partners with more than 60 private insurers to sell flood insurance policies. Communities that participate in the NFIP are eligible for discounted flood insurance rates.
As rates within the NFIP increased over the years, private insurance companies entered the fray, expanding options for Florida homeowners and landlords. Private market insurers usually offer a higher coverage limit (over $250,000), and the coverage can also be broader to include other structures in the home. That said, a comparison of flood insurance coverage between an NFIP and private insurer policy is necessary to know what offers a better deal for your situation.
There is a 30-day waiting period when you enroll in the NFIP. Private insurers don’t mandate this requirement. However, not all private insurers offer a renewal guarantee. You don’t want to get stuck between losing your Florida flood insurance policy and waiting 30 days when you switch to an NFIP plan.
Get Custom Flood Insurance Quotes in Florida
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