Flood Insurance

Flood Insurance Program Savings

Coming soon to unincorporated Pinellas County, flood insurance premium discounts will increase from 35% to 40%, providing an estimated total savings of $10 million to residents and businesses! The discount will go into effect on April 1, 2024, due to an improvement in the County’s rating from Class 3 to Class 2 in the National Flood Insurance Program Community Rating System.

Pinellas County is surrounded by water, and flooding can occur anywhere – not just near rivers, lakes, or the ocean. You should consider getting flood insurance for your home, business or rental.

Most homeowners’ insurance policies do not cover losses due to flooding. Congress mandates that federally regulated, or insured lenders require flood insurance for all buildings located in a FEMA Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) with a federally back mortgage.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) protects your most important investment: your home or business and its contents. The insurance is considerably less expensive than federal disaster loans and it’s 100% backed by the U.S. government.

Flood insurance covers you for damage to your home, business and its contents due to water from inland or tidal flooding and erosion due to flooding.

Don’t assume you’re safe from flooding just because you live on the third floor of your condo building. If a severe flood wipes out the ground floor of your building, all of the other units in the building may become uninhabitable as well.

Flood insurance has a 30-day wait period before coverage starts, so you will not be insured if you wait until a flood is forecast to take out your policy.

Did you know?

If your property is in a special flood hazard area, there is at least a one in four chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage.

Flood Insurance Rates

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) rates are based on the specific property and include factors such as flood risk, elevation, foundation type, replacement cost value, date it was built, the building’s construction and other factors. Policies can be purchased for contents only, building only, or both contents and building coverage. Getting an Elevation Certificate will help agents properly rate your policy.

Flood Insurance Eligibility

You are eligible to purchase flood insurance as long as your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program. You are also eligible for a discounted rate if your community participates in the Community Rating System.

Did you know?

Based on 2023 NFIP claims data, around 28% of flood insurance claims come from areas that are not in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA).

Flood Insurance Claims

Before a Flood

  • Take photos or video and inventory your property. You will need this, should you have to make a claim.

After a Flood

  • Take photos or videos of the damage to document your losses for your insurance claim before you move any debris or remove damaged belongings.
  • Make a list of damaged contents.
  • File your insurance claims promptly. There are time limitations on submitting claims with many insurance companies.
  • Do not sign an Assignment of Benefits. In Florida, there’s a rapidly growing scam in which a few shady home repair vendors pressure homeowners to sign away the rights and benefits of their insurance policies as a condition of performing work. This practice has led to grossly inflated claims and an explosion of Assignment of Benefit lawsuits against insurers, which is driving up the cost of homeowners’ coverage for consumers. For more information, visit Florida Property Insurance Fraud: Don’t Sign Your Rights Away.

Get Assistance

Have questions about flood insurance? Contact Pinellas County insurance advocates for help.

Additional Resources