Cost of Flood Insurance in Florida and How Coverage Works

Cost of Flood Insurance in Florida and How Coverage Works

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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 also 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 even 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

The average cost of flood insurance in Florida is $562 for policies purchased through the NFIP. Flood insurance rates can vary depending upon whether you're in a high-risk zone, your property's elevation and your house's structure.

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.

CityPolicies in forceTotal coverageTotal premiumsAverage cost per policy
Jacksonville25,121$7,459,799,100$11,477,567$457
Miami51,595$11,217,918,300$20,121,760$390
Tampa27,257$7,512,210,100$23,414,175$859
Orlando2,792$770,482,900$1,464,701$525
St. Petersburg34,953$7,914,322,200$33,219,095$950
Hialeah13,270$3,016,487,300$5,198,698$392
Port St. Lucie6,140$1,790,964,500$2,385,524$389
Tallahassee1,849$486,317,600$1,239,534$670
Cape Coral33,256$8,911,569,500$24,297,524$731
Fort Lauderdale38,806$9,681,889,700$15,722,665$405

In order to find the best flood insurance rates, we suggest comparing quotes from the NFIP against those from companies that offer private flood insurance. Not all mortgage lenders accept a non-NFIP policy to meet your loan requirements, but if they do, 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.

Do you need flood insurance in Florida?

You'll need a flood insurance policy if you want financial protection after a flood. Otherwise, you'll likely have to pay out of pocket for a significant portion of the damage.

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 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.

  • AIG
  • American Integrity Insurance Company of Florida
  • American Strategic Insurance Corporation
  • Centauri Specialty Insurance Company
  • Edison Insurance Company
  • Federal Insurance Company (Chubb)
  • Florida Peninsula Insurance Company
  • Homeowners Choice Property & Casualty
  • Lloyd's Underwriters (The Flood Insurance Agency)
  • Progressive Property Insurance Company
  • Safe Harbor Insurance Company
  • Southern Oak Insurance Company
  • Tower Hill Insurance Company
  • Typ Tap Insurance
  • Universal Insurance Company of North America
  • US Coastal Property & Insurance Company
  • Voyager Indemnity Insurance Company (Assurant)
Maxime Croll

Maxime is a Director at ValuePenguin focusing on the insurance industry. Previously she was the Director of Product Marketing at CoverWallet, a commercial insurance startup, and helped launch NerdWallet's personal insurance business. Maxime has contributed insurance insights and analysis to Forbes, USA Today, The Hill, and many other publications.

Editorial Note: The content of this article is based on the author’s opinions and recommendations alone. It has not been previewed, commissioned or otherwise endorsed by any of our network partners.