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If you’re a homeowner in Florida, your mortgage lender may require you to purchase flood insurance if your house is located in a moderate- or high-risk flood zone. Flood insurance is still a good consideration even if it’s not required, due to Florida’s low elevation and high exposure to storms.
Homeowners and renters insurance policies don’t cover floods or storm surges, but you can purchase a flood policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or a private insurer. The average cost of a flood insurance policy through the NFIP is $562 per year, but you may be able to find lower rates and greater coverage flexibility by going through a private flood insurance company.
Cost of flood insurance in Florida
You can check which zone your house is in using the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Flood Map. Depending on the zone your home is located in, flood insurance rates can range from around $190 to more than $2,000.
You may also receive a higher flood insurance quote if your house is used as a rental property or if you occupy it less than half the year, which are both common scenarios for Florida homeowners. You’ll also pay more in fees. The NFIP adds an annual $25 surcharge to each flood insurance policy, but that fee jumps to $250 per year if the house is not your primary residence.
As you can see below, the average cost of flood insurance in Florida’s largest cities ranges from $389 to $950 per year.
In order to find the best flood insurance rates, we suggest comparing quotes from the NFIP with those from companies that offer private flood insurance. Private flood insurance is typically offered at similar or lower rates than those from the NFIP.
In addition, a private flood insurance policy may extend higher coverage limits, meaning you could purchase more comprehensive coverage if your house costs more than $250,000 to replace. However, private flood insurers are permitted to cancel your policy if they deem your home to be too high-risk to insure.
Do you need flood insurance in Florida?
While flood insurance isn’t mandated by the state of Florida, it’s a common requirement of mortgage lenders, particularly if you’re in a high-risk flood zone. If the government’s flood zone maps indicate that your house is located in a flood zone starting with an A or V, you’ll likely need to purchase a flood insurance policy. If you’re located in an X, C or B flood zone, your home is considered to be at a lower risk of flooding, but nearly a quarter of flood events still occur in these areas.
Many homeowners in Florida are close to a waterfront such as a beach, river or lake, which means they’re at a higher risk for flooding. Homeowners and renters insurance policies don’t cover flooding, even in the case of surges or wind-driven water that floods properties, a common effect of hurricanes.
If you don’t have coverage and a storm hits, you may not get federal assistance through FEMA unless the event is declared a federal emergency. Even then, post-disaster grants are less than $10,000 on average. A flood can easily cause much more damage, as you may need to replace your home’s flooring, parts of the walls and your personal property and home appliances.
Flood insurance companies in Florida
You can purchase NFIP flood insurance from most Florida insurers and agents, so can ask your current homeowners or renters insurance company for coverage if you’d like an NFIP policy. Alternatively, in the last few years, Florida has made it simpler for companies to offer private flood insurance as an alternative to the NFIP.
We recommend comparing quotes from private flood insurance companies, as you may get a lower premium and access to higher levels of coverage. Private flood insurance companies may also offer coverage more quickly, with policies starting in as few as three days after coverage. An NFIP policy, on the other hand, typically has a 30-day waiting period before coverage kicks in.
The following insurance companies are primary writers of flood insurance in Florida: