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Flood Insurance

Flooding is a serious risk in Florida due to the state’s geography and proximity to water, both inland and on the coast. Insurance to cover this risk is not typically provided in a homeowner’s policy, so it generally must be purchased separately. Depending on a home’s location, flood insurance may be a required purchase as a condition of a mortgage.

A vast majority of flood insurance coverage is federally regulated and provided through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is administered through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). To qualify for flood insurance, a community must join the NFIP and agree to enforce sound floodplain management standards. When this happens, the residents in that community are allowed to participate in and purchase flood insurance coverage through the NFIP. Generally, there is a 30-day waiting period before flood insurance policies take effect unless purchased with a new homeowners’ policy.

Recent changes to federal flood insurance laws have caused unintended consequences to thousands of homeowners in this state. In 2012, Congress passed the Biggert-Waters Reform Act of 2012 (BW-12) extending the NFIP for five years and requiring significant program reform measures. The law’s implementation consists of gradual changes to the NFIP over the course of several years.

Commissioner McCarty, Florida’s Insurance Commissioner, issued a press release in April 2013 warning homeowners of the expected price increases taking effect in October 2013 and worked diligently to compile and present information to the Governor’s Office and Florida Legislature about the potential negative effects it would have on Florida’s property insurance market. Those October price changes resulted in drastic increases for new and renewal flood insurance policies, especially for those in specific Florida counties.

This is a critical concern for our state, as Florida has the largest number of participants in the NFIP and pays four times more into the program than it receives in claim payments.

To encourage private insurers to write flood insurance in Florida and provide an alternative to the NFIP which gives homeowners another way to obtain this type of coverage, Commissioner McCarty issued an informational memorandum to insurance companies interested in writing primary flood insurance. One new Florida company has begun writing private flood insurance and others have expressed interest.

Efforts are now underway at both the state and federal levels to address potential ways of mitigating the impact of these reforms on homeowners. The Office will continue to monitor this issue and provide information and support to the Governor’s Office and Florida Legislature, while also keeping the general public informed.

This "Flood Insurance" website page was developed by the Florida Office of Insurance Regulation (Office) to provide useful information and links for consumers, media and other interested parties. Some of these resources were not developed by the Office, and some links will direct you to websites not maintained by the Office. In addition, the listing of an insurance company is for informational purposes only and does not constitute an endorsement by the Office.

Flood Insurance Writers in Florida>>

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