Estimated Read Time: 7 minutes
Read this article to learn:
- Cost of Flood Insurance in Low and High Risk Areas
- What is a Flood Zones?
- How to Buy Flood Insurance in Florida
Flooding is the #1 Natural Disaster in the US.
In 1968, The U.S. Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to help property owners obtain flood insurance. Congress assigned the responsibility to administer the flood insurance program throughout Florida and the United States to FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency). As part of that responsibility, FEMA mapped Florida's topography to learn which communities and properties are most likely to sustain a flood. FEMA grouped properties into low, moderate, and high risk areas or flood zones. A flood zone represents a properties' risk to flood damage. High Risk Flood Zones include A, AE, V, VE. Low and Moderate Risk Zones are X, C, and B.
Here are some facts you should know:
- 20-25% of all flood events occur in low-risk flood zones.
- Your house may be in a low-risk flood zone, it is never in a NO-RISK flood zone. Florida is surrounded by 3 sides of water, and is at sea level.
- Homeowners, condo, and renters insurance policies do not typically cover flood damage, including flooding caused by hurricane storm surges.
- Purchase a flood insurance policy so you are protected from a flooding catastrophe.
The cost of your Florida Flood Insurance policy will vary depending on three things:
- how much insurance coverage you need,
- how the property is used (home, rental, or business)
- the flood zone assigned to your home or property.
Flood Insurance Rates in Florida - 2017: Moderate Risk Areas
Mortgage companies or lenders will not typically require flood insurance in low risk zones. Low and Moderate Risk Zones are X, B, and C.
|Annual Premium||Building Coverage Amount||Contents Coverage Amount|
The chart above shows Flood Insurance costs for Florida homes that qualify for the Preferred Risk Program ). Rates of June 19, 2017.
In low- to moderate-risk areas, premiums range from roughly $130 to $450 per year for homes. In high-risk zones, they can reach into the thousands. Use this chart when:
- Your home is found in an Low or Moderate Risk Flood Zone (Zones X, B, or C) & doesn't have a basement
- The home is your primary residence & you occupy it 50% of the time.
- If you live in the home less than 50% add $225 a year to the rates above.
- If this is a rental home, add $225 a year to the rates above.
What is a Flood Zone?
Cost of High-Risk Flood Insurance in Florida: Zones A, AE, V, VE
When your home is located in a higher risk area, it is more likely to be affected by a flood event. Higher risk flood zones in Florida are typically found near beaches, lakes, rivers, ponds, and marshes. If you have a mortgage, your lender will require you to purchase flood insurance for your home when it is located in a high risk flood zone.
Unlike low-risk areas, properties in high risk zones do not have standardized rates, and every property will have different cost. The cost of high risk flood insurance is based on 4 things:
- the base flood elevation in your area; (BFE)
- how many feet above or below the base flood elevation your home was built
- the type of foundation and flood proofing.
- Your Flood zone AE vs VE
FEMA determines all BASE flood elevations throughout the state, and publishes them on flood maps. One thing to keep in mind is that base flood elevations are based of the sea level and not in relationship to yourneighbors home. The base flood elevation is the elevation to which floodwater is anticipated to rise during an anticipated flood event. A surveyor will measure and determine your property's specific elevations in relation to the base flood elevation. A surveyor provides this information on a standardized form called an elevation certificate.
An elevation certificate is always recommended when your home is a high risk flood zone. You can get a quote without an elevation certificate, however, without the certificate, the cost may be thousands or tens of thousands of dollars more out of your pocket.
If you are in a one of these high risk zone or special flood hazard, your premium will be based on how far below or above the BFE your home’s actual elevation is (measured from sea level). Flood insurance for homes located in an AE flood zone cost substantially less than those in VE flood zones. VE flood zones apply to areas that have a risk for storm surges during hurricanes or tropical storms.
To determine your actual cost for flood insurance, our best recommendation is to get a flood elevation certificate. Then talk to us
Read our blog post about "what is a flood elevation certificate" to learn more about these forms and their costs.
Want help? Get a Flood Insurance Quote in Florida
Locating Your Flood Zone
It is easy to locate your estimated flood zone using an online mapping tool found at
Simply click above. In FEMAs map tool, enter your property’s address into the address search bar on the top right hand side. It can take 1 to 2 minutes to return the zone on the map. The map will provide you the properties flood zone, sometimes you may need to zoom out to see it.
What is a Flood Zone?
FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) has mapped the topography of Florida to show which communities and properties in Florida are most likely to sustain a flood within 100 years. FEMA assigned a letter ( X, B, C, A, V) to properties based the susceptibility to flooding. The letter assigned by FEMA is the Flood zone of a property. Low Risk Zones are X, B, C. High Risk Zones include A, AE, V, and VE. Remember, in Florida there is no such thing as NOT in Flood Zone. All properties are in a Flood Zone. Some are in a LOW risk zone rather than high risk zone. Keep in mind that most of Houston was in a Low risk X flood zone.
Is there a 30 day waiting period?
You can buy flood insurance at any time. However, there's a 30-day waiting period from date of purchase before your flood insurance policy goes into effect. This means you can't buy flood insurance 2 days before a hurricane hits Florida and be covered. Some private flood insurers (not FEMA) will provide a policy with a 3 day waiting period. Please call us to discuss this option.
However, if you are increasing, extending, or starting a mortgage loan, there is no waiting period. Coverage becomes effective at the time of the loan, provided that the flood insurance application and payment of premium was made at or prior to loan closing.
How to Buy Florida Flood Insurance
You cannot buy flood insurance directly from NFIP (the national flood insurance program) or FEMA. To purchase a policy, contact an insurance agent. NFIP works through many different insurance agents and companies. No matter where you choose to purchase a NFIP policy, they will be identical in coverage and price. You may also contact an Independent Insurance Agency in Florida.
There are private flood insurance companies that will also offer flood insurance in Florida. They have different rates and rules than the NFIP or FEMA's programs.
Would you still like more help? Feel free to call us at 904-268-3106.
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Every home is unique. Call us today at 904-268-3106 to find out how to get the best price and value on Florida Flood Insurance Florida policies.