Florida Homeowner’s Guide to Flood Insurance

You might think flood insurance is expensive and you can't afford it. But, considering how costly it can be to recover from flooding, many Florida homeowners consider flood insurance an investment worth every penny.


Everyone’s at Risk of Flooding

Flooding is one of the most frequent and costly natural disasters in the U.S. It occurs in every state in the union, in both urban and rural settings, and affects countless Americans on a nearly daily basis, year-round.


While many associate flooding with hurricane season, severe storms aren’t the only reason floodwaters may threaten your home. Heavy rainfall, coupled with overflowing rivers, lakes, canals, or drainage failures at the home, street, or regional level can quickly flood entire communities. Dam and levee failures can also cause flooding any time of year.


One-quarter of all flood damage claims come from low-risk to moderate-risk areas, which means you don’t have to live in a high-risk zone to experience flooding. This is especially true in Florida, with its flat terrain, low elevation, and extensive coastline.


Also, new construction – which occurs throughout the year in Florida – increases your flood risk because it reduces the amount of rain absorbed into the ground, increasing the risk of flash flooding.


Is Flood Insurance Mandatory in Florida?

There is no state law requiring all Florida homeowners have flood insurance. Even so, there are a couple situations where you might be required to purchase flood insurance in Florida:


  • If you have a federally backed mortgage and are situated in a high-risk flood area (called Special Flood Hazard Area, or SFHA), federal law requires you purchase flood insurance.
  • Citizens Property Insurance Corporation is requiring all homeowners it insures to have flood insurance. The state-backed insurer of last resort issued new flood insurance guidelines in August 2023, revealing how it intends to phase in the flood insurance requirement over the next few years:



Is the Cost of Flood Insurance Worth It?

Before you say no to flood insurance, take a moment to think through its cost compared to how much it could save you if your property floods.


The average cost of flood insurance is $888/year, according to an analysis of 2023 FEMA pricing data. And, according to FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), just 1” of water inside your home can cost $25,000 to repair.


In addition, FEMA grants or other disaster assistance programs  may be available to help recovery efforts after a flood event – but, in these cases, the compensation you receive will be much less: about $5,100 vs. $29,000 from the NFIP if you had flood insurance. And, if what you’re receiving isn’t based on an insurance policy, you may even be required to repay it.


Rather than simply doing the math on the cost-effectiveness of flood insurance, you might well ask yourself, How lucky do I feel?


What Qualifies as ‘Flooding’?

The standard homeowners insurance policy covers some types of water damage – but not flooding. Because of this, it can sometimes be difficult to determine what type of water damage is covered by your homeowners insurance policy vs. what’s covered by a flood insurance policy.


An easy way to distinguish between the two types of water damage is using “rising water” when you think about flooding. Rising water entering the home from the ground level up is what flood insurance is designed to cover. Water coming into the home through a broken window or damaged roof are examples of damages usually covered by your homeowners policy rather than a flood policy.


Think you understand the difference? Why not test your knowledge about flood-related insurance coverage by taking this brief interactive quiz by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).


Own a Home in Florida? Don’t Skip the Flood Insurance

Before saying yes or no to flood insurance, be sure you understand your risks of flooding, as well as your options to purchase flood insurance. Federal regulations require it for some, and Citizens will ultimately require all homeowners it insures to also carry flood insurance. Private carriers offer flood insurance, as does FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program.


At Edison Insurance Company, we’re in the business of protecting your home and personal belongings from all kinds of potential hazards in Florida, such as wind, hail, lightning, hurricanes, fire, theft, and more. We also offer qualifying homes the option to purchase flood insurance. We feel flood insurance is so important, we highly recommend you obtain this coverage even if it is not with our company.


To find out more, contact your Edison agent. And if you’re a Florida homeowner not currently insured by us? Go online to get your quote with us now. 

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