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Flood Insurance Overview - Determine if it is Right for You

Most flood insurance policies currently providing coverage in Florida are underwritten by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The NFIP is managed by the Federal Insurance & Mitigation Administration which is a part of the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA).

These policies may be issued directly by the NFIP (NFIP Direct) or by various property and casualty insurance companies through a NFIP program called “Write Your Own” (WYO). Through the WYO program, the insurance company issues and services the policy, however the NFIP is responsible for paying any claims arising from the policy. A policy underwritten by the NFIP will always have a NFIP Policy Number listed on the declarations page. Additional information about purchasing or renewing a NFIP Flood Insurance policy may be obtained at Additional information regarding the NFIP’s newly implemented rating methodology known as Risk Rating 2.0, is available at You may also reach the NFIP Help Center at 800-427-4661.

You can purchase Florida flood insurance through local agents, agencies, and Write Your Own insurance companies. It can also be purchased from the private market through admitted and surplus lines carriers. It can be added to a homeowner’s policy by endorsement or provided by a stand-alone policy.

Flood Insurance Basics

The definition of a flood is the same regardless of whether your policy is underwritten by the NFIP or the private market. “Flood” means a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land areas or two or more properties, at least one of which is the policyholder’s property. For example, flooding in your yard, and in your neighbor’s yard or in the public street meets the requirement for flooding under the policy. Flooding of just one property is not considered to be a covered flood under a NFIP policy unless the area of water displacement is at least two acres. The flood must come from:

  • The overflow of inland or tidal waters; or

  • The unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source; or

  • Mud slides, (i.e. mud flows) which are proximately caused by flood, as defined above, and are akin to a river of liquid and flowing mud on the surface of normally dry land areas, as when earth is carried by a current of water and deposited along the path of the current; or

  • The collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or other body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding the cyclical levels which result in flood, as defined above.

Additional information about flood insurance may be obtained at and, or by calling the NFIP Help Center at 1-800-427-4661. You may also review videos to learn what you need to know about flood insurance, how to buy flood insurance, and what factors are taken into consideration when calculating premium, by visiting:

If you have problems with, or questions about your flood insurance policy or the claims process:

  • First, contact your Florida insurance agent. The insurance agent who handles your homeowners or renter’s insurance policy may be the same agent who handles your flood insurance policy. If your agent cannot assist you, contact your insurance company.

  • If you have a policy with NFIP Direct (a FEMA logo will be displayed at the top of your Declaration page), call NFIP Direct Customer Care at 800-638-6620.

When calling, you should have the following information available:

  • Contact information (name, telephone number or email address, if applicable)

  • Policy number

  • Name of flood insurance carrier

  • The nature of your request

This information will help the representative answer your questions quickly and efficiently. If you have a policy with NFIP but are not sure what company services your policy or who your agent is, you may contact the FMIX Help Center at 877-336-2627.

For policyholders and other individuals who have questions about disaster assistance, contact FEMA at 800-621-3362 (TTY 800-462-7585) or visit

Types of Policies

STANDARD NFIP FLOOD INSURANCE POLICIES: If you live in a community that participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), your building and its contents can be covered. You must apply for building coverage and contents coverage separately. A summary of the coverage provided by a Standard Flood Insurance Policy is available at:

Additional information may be obtained at, or by calling the NFIP Help Center at 1-800-427-4661.

PRIVATE MARKET FLOOD INSURANCE POLICIES: Standard Flood Insurance: Standard flood insurance policies issued by the private market must provide the same coverage, including deductibles and adjustment of losses as the standard flood insurance policy under the National Flood Insurance Program.

Preferred Flood Insurance: Preferred flood insurance policies issued by the private market must include the same coverage as provided under standard flood insurance but:

  • It must include, within the definition of “flood,” losses from water intrusion originating from outside the structure that are not otherwise covered under the definition of “flood”.

  • Include coverage for additional living expenses.

  • Require that any loss under personal property or contents coverage that is repaired or replaced be adjusted based upon replacement cost settlement, up to the policy limits.

Customized Flood Insurance: Customized flood insurance policies issued by the private market must include coverage that is broader than the coverage provided under standard flood insurance.

Flexible Flood Insurance: Flexible flood insurance policies issued by the private market must cover losses from the peril of flood and may also include coverage for losses from water intrusion originating from outside the structure which is not otherwise covered by the definition of flood. Flexible flood insurance must include one or more of the following provisions:

  • An agreement between the insurer and the insured that the flood coverage is in a specified amount, such as coverage that is limited to the total amount of each outstanding mortgage applicable to the covered property.

  • A requirement for a deductible in an amount authorized under s. 627.701, including a deductible in an amount authorized for hurricanes.

  • A requirement that flood loss to a dwelling be adjusted based upon replacement cost settlement or adjusted on the basis of the actual cash value of the property.

  • A restriction limiting flood coverage to the principal building defined in the policy.

  • A provision including or excluding coverage for additional living expense.

  • A provision excluding coverage for personal property or contents as to the peril of flood.

Supplemental Flood Insurance: Supplemental flood insurance policies issued by the private market may provide coverage designed to supplement a flood policy obtained from the National Flood Insurance Program or from an insurer issuing flood insurance policies described above. Supplemental flood insurance may provide, but need not be limited to, coverage for jewelry, art, deductibles, and additional living expenses.

Need more information about your options when purchasing Flood insurance in Florida? Please visit our website at

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