If you live in an area prone to flooding, your flood insurance rate will probably be higher than the average rate in Florida. Flood insurance is sometimes required in Florida by the government or your mortgage lender, depending on where you live in the state and what type of mortgage you have. Your rates, options and flood zone aren't always easy to understand, so we studied the flood insurance market in Florida to help you make sense of it.
In this article
Average cost of flood insurance in Florida
The average cost of flood insurance in Florida is $629 a year, but premiums may vary widely depending on where you live in the state and your home's risk level. FEMA groups areas based on their risk of flooding - called flood zones - and provides an online tool to help you find out which flood zone you live in.
The figures below are rates for flood insurance policies through the National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP. The cost of NFIP flood insurance policies is determined by the U.S. government.
- A Special Flood Hazard Area, or SFHA, is usually designated by the letters A or V. These are high-risk flood areas.
- Zone X (shaded) is a moderate-risk area, while Zone X (unshaded) is a minimal-risk area.
- Zone D indicates areas where there are possible but undetermined flood risks.
|Flood zone||Average annual rate||Average monthly rate|
|Source: National Flood Insurance Program|
As the table above shows, flood insurance rates may vary widely depending on where you live. Rates are not only high for areas on the Florida coast, but inland counties and cities may also be at risk of flooding due to rivers and lakes.
Flood insurance requirements in Florida
You are required by the U.S. government to have flood insurance if you meet the following criteria: 1) you live in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), and 2) you have a federally backed mortgage. Your mortgage lender may also require you to have flood insurance, even if the government doesn't.
Do you need flood insurance in Florida?
Since Florida is a coastal state, many homes are at risk of flooding. According to NFIP data, 17% of households in Florida have flood insurance. Zone X, which is a moderate or minimal-risk zone depending on where you live, has the second-highest losses after Zone AE in the state.
According to States at Risk, 3.5 million Floridians are at risk of coastal flooding, and by 2050, over a million additional residents could be at risk of flooding due to rising seas. Every part of the U.S., regardless of how far inland it is or its climate, is at risk of flooding. According to Scientific American, the risk of floods is on pace to rise by 26% due to climate change. Therefore, we recommend purchasing flood insurance, no matter where you live in Florida.
Flood insurance in Florida's SFHAs
In particular, AE flood zones or any zone designated by the letters A or V have a 1% chance of flooding annually. If you live in an AE zone and have a federally backed mortgage, you are required to purchase flood insurance.
Private flood insurance vs. NFIP
A big difference between private and NFIP flood insurance is coverage limits. NFIP flood insurance has a maximum limit of $250,000 for building coverage and $100,000 for possessions, while private flood insurance may have higher coverage limits.
However, NFIP flood insurance is widely available, while the availability of private flood insurance varies based on the company.
NFIP flood insurance providers
We recommend choosing a company that will make servicing your policy as simple as possible. For instance, if you already have home or auto insurance with Allstate, it may make sense to try to get an NFIP policy through Allstate as well. Here's a short list of insurance companies that write NFIP flood insurance policies:
- Wright National Flood
- The Hartford
- National General
- American Family
- Bankers Insurance
For a complete list of writers of NFIP policies in Florida, see NFIP's flood insurance company list.
Private flood insurance providers
According to the Insurance Information Institute, Zurich Insurance Group, AIG and Assurant account for 41% of all private flood insurance policies nationally. The following insurance companies are the biggest writers of private flood insurance in the U.S.
|Zurich Insurance Group||16.0%|
|American International Group (AIG)||14.9%|
|Swiss Re Ltd.||5.8%|
|Arch Capital Group||4.7%|
|Source: Data from NAIC, sourced from S&P Global Market Intelligence, Insurance Information Institute|
How to pay less for flood insurance in Florida
Your flood insurance premium is affected by several factors, but you can take steps to lower your premium.
- Increase your deductible. If you increase your deductible, you can lower your premium. In the event of a claim, you will need to pay the deductible amount.
- Provide an elevation certificate. You may be able to lower your premium by submitting an elevation certificate to your agent. An elevation certificate gives details of your home's location, the elevation of the lowest floor, the characteristics of the building and which flood zone it is located in.
- Update your home. You may be able to save on your premium if you elevate your home and utilities, install flood openings or fill in your basement.
We sourced our data exclusively through government agencies. Rate and loss data came from FEMA, and demographic data came from the U.S. Census Bureau.
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