A standard home insurance policy will not cover flood insurance, but you can purchase it separately. 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
Florida flood insurance at a glance
- In Florida, the average cost of flood insurance is $716 a year.
- About 25% of households in Florida have flood insurance.
- Private flood insurance may have higher coverage limits compared to policies from the National Flood Insurance Program.
Average cost of flood insurance in Florida
The average cost of flood insurance in Florida is $716 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 your flood zone.
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. If you're a Florida homeowner and have home insurance though Citizens Insurance, you will be required at some point to purchase flood insurance.
Florida's legislators passed a bill that requires Citizens Insurance policyholders to purchase flood insurance. All homeowners with Citizens Insurance are required to purchase flood insurance by March 1, 2027.
- April 1, 2023: Flood insurance must be purchased for new Citizens policyholders living in SFHA areas.
- July 1, 2023: Current Citizens policyholders living in SFHA areas will be required to purchase flood insurance.
- March 1, 2024: All Citizens policyholders who have a property value of $600,000 or more will be required to purchase flood insurance.
- March 1, 2025: All Citizens policyholders who have a property value of $500,000 or more will be required to purchase flood insurance.
- March 1, 2026: All Citizens policyholders who have a property value of $400,000 or more will be required to purchase flood insurance.
Find flood insurance where you live
Risk of flooding in Florida
Since Florida is a coastal state, many homes are at risk of flooding. According to NFIP data, 25% of homeowners 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 Risk Factor, over 200,000 properties in Florida are at risk of flooding over the next three decades 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. Just a few inches of water can cause thousands of dollars in damage.
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. With private flood insurance companies, you also have more opportunities to shop around and compare flood insurance policies. 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
For a complete list of writers of NFIP policies in Florida, see NFIP's flood insurance company list.
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 the flood zone in which it is located.
- 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.
Frequently asked questions
Flood insurance covers damages to your home as well as to your belongings.
Flood insurance can provide valuable protection for your home even if you don't live in a high-risk flood area. According to FEMA, more than 25% of NFIP flood insurance claims come from outside high-risk flood zones.
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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