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Buying Flood Insurance In Florida

Flood insurance is a valuable investment available to everyone: homeowners, business owners, condo unit owners and renters. Depending on the risk of where you live or own a business, as well as the provider you choose when purchasing flood insurance, policies may vary in price. Although the cost of another insurance policy may seem unnecessary, it could save you in the long run from flood damage costs and help you recover faster. Remember: just one inch of flood water can cause more than $25,000 in damage.

buying flood insurance in florida

Flood insurance claims can be filed anytime your property experiences flooding impacts. Flood insurance can cover both a property and its contents, and a claim can be filed in the event of losses directly caused by a flooding event. A flooding event is considered to be any flooding that affects two or more acres of land or two or more properties.

Although you can purchase flood insurance at any time, waiting until a hurricane or major storm is threatening your home may be too late. Many policies take upwards of 30 days after purchase to take effect.

The National Flood Insurance Program is a pre-disaster flood mitigation and insurance protection program designed to reduce the escalating cost of disasters. The National Flood Insurance Program makes federally backed flood insurance available to residents and business owners. Standard flood insurance by the National Flood Insurance Program generally covers physical damages directly caused by flooding within the limits of the coverage purchased. Private providers may have higher limits or broader coverage compared to National Flood Insurance Program policies.

If you live in an area at risk of hurricane, storm, prolonged rainfall or snowfall, coastal storm surge, or other conditions that may increase the risk of flooding, flood insurance is a must. However, if you live in a low-risk area with no snowfalls, rainfalls, or other conditions that raise the risk of flooding, investing in flood insurance is not a must-have for you.

Because they have a direct interest in the claims, private insurance companies analyze each property individually and generate premiums that reflect the flooding risk more accurately for each property. This allows consumers to find flood insurance that offers the best rate for their situation.

The average cost of flood insurance in Florida is $570 per year. However, costs can vary by thousands of dollars from one property to another depending on many factors. If you own a property in Florida that is considered to be located in a high to moderate risk flood zone your mortgage company will require you to purchase flood insurance. To get an accurate estimation of cost for your property it will be important to have a specialist evaluate all the variables that will effect your rates.

Since the vast majority of Florida is flat with elevations that are at or near sea level and is surrounded by more than 1,100 miles of coastline it is no wonder why the likeliness of damage to property from flooding in the beautiful Sunshine State is higher than any other state in the country. Even if your property is not in a flood-zone it will still be recommended to get flood insurance. The most common causes of flooding in this flat humid state arise from large thunderstorms, hurricanes, and tropical storms. An average of 60 inches of rainfall soaks this massive peninsula every year. To add even more potential risk to flooding the state boasts more than 11,000 miles of rivers, streams and waterways which can spill out and flood the this land with water tables just beneath the surface. You need dry land to soak all that water but in Flordia the water has no where to go but everywhere.

With more than 2 million property owners who are required to buy flood insurance in Florida there are loads of data on how much it will cost but in order to know how much it will cost you we need to first understand some details about your specific property to get a meaningful estimate. An average price for the whole state of Florida is virtually useless as it doesn't consider how much coverage is needed and it doesn't consider all the property specific details that have an enormous impact on rates.

After we determine all the characteristics of your property and what kind of coverage you desire, the next thing that will impact costs is which company you buy from. Are you buying an NFIP/FEMA flood insurance policy or are you buying from a private flood insurance company? In Florida, property owners have access to more options than anywhere in the country. Yet, most insurance brokers are focused on general insurance practices such as regular home insurance and car insurance and will typically only offer their clients government flood insurance through the NFIP. Pricing can range by thousands of dollars from one carrier to another and that is why it is critical you shop with a broker who has access to more than a dozen carriers and practices flood insurance on a daily basis.

When comparing prices of flood insurance in the Sunshine State's cities like Miami or Ft Lauderdale which are located right off of the Atlantic Ocean to inland cities like Orlando you will generally find that the cost is typically less expensive the further you go inland from the ocean. Getting away from the surge zone that the ocean creates reduces the risk of flooding significantly and along with this reduction of risk comes reduced premiums. There are some instances where a property that is inland can have a lower than sea-level elevation and be near a river or waterway where the flood insurance could be more expensive than a property located right off the coast. How could this be? If a property on the coast is significantly elevated with pilings and built with flood mitigation in mind then the insurance company may offer discounts for the coastal property because of the reduced risk factors the mitigation provides. The bottom-line is, whereever it rains, it can flood.

It is highly recommended to consider speaking with a specialist who can evaluate your specific properties risk from a more detailed perspective. The FEMA flood maps aka (National Flood Hazard Layer) are not sufficient in determining the risk of flooding to your property. It's not uncommon for named storms to cause so much damage that more than 80% of the losses occur to properties that were not considered to be in the high to medium risk flood zones. When hurricane Irma came ripping through Florida, sadly, more than 80% of the properties damaged were uninsured. Since the mid 1800's there have only been 18 hurricane seasons where Florida did not see a known storm that impacted the state. Hurricane seasons in Florida last for roughly half of the year and when it rains, it pours. Florida has racked up more than $140 Billion of damage from hurricanes throughout the years of which one storm alone named Hurricane Andrew caused a large portion of that damage. You never know when the next big one is going to hit, but it could be soon and will you have the right flood insurance?

If you would like to learn how much flood insurance will cost for your property in Florida, Yep Insurance can provide you an instant rate after you answer just a few simple questions. See Flood Insurance Pricing Here

The Florida legislature passed Senate Bill 2-A in December 2022 which requires Citizens Insurance to mandate its policyholders purchase flood insurance. According to Mark Friedlander, spokesperson for the Insurance Information Institute, this new Citizens flood insurance requirement in hurricane-prone Florida aims to ensure homeowners are adequately insured in the event of flooding.

The first flood insurance deadline is April 1, 2023. This deadline is for new customers who live in FEMA-designated SFHAs. Although the deadline is approaching, most homeowners who live in an SFHA likely already have flood insurance because mortgage lenders require it, said Friedlander.

Although the NFIP accounts for the most flood insurance policies, the private flood insurance marketplace is on the rise in Florida. There are more than 40 private flood insurers that offer coverage in Florida. That means as a homeowner you can shop for private flood insurance and compare quotes just like you would for home or auto insurance, said Friedlander.

The mandatory purchase requirement mandates flood insurance for certain high-risk properties and was established to increase the number of households with flood insurance. Lenders must verify that certain properties have flood insurance. At least 10 federal entities oversee lenders' compliance, including the federal banking regulators, among others (see figure). The most frequent violation the regulators identified was related to a lack of or insufficient flood insurance coverage for properties subject to the requirement. If regulators identify violations, lenders are required to take corrective actions, and if a pattern or practice of certain flood insurance violations is found, monetary penalties may be assessed against them.

Flood insurance plays a key role in helping homeowners reduce the financial effects of floods, reduces the need for federal disaster assistance, and lowers costs for American taxpayers. NFIP makes federally backed flood insurance available to property owners in qualifying communities. The mandatory purchase requirement requires property owners in NFIP communities to purchase flood insurance if, among other things, they have mortgages from federally regulated lenders.

GAO was asked to review the implementation of the mandatory purchase requirement. This report (1) describes federal entities' oversight of the requirement, (2) examines the extent to which FEMA uses information about compliance with the requirement, and (3) examines the use of FEMA floodplain maps to determine who must purchase flood insurance. GAO reviewed documentation from federal entities, analyzed data on lender violations of the requirement, and interviewed officials and other stakeholders. 041b061a72

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