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Flood Insurance Header

Most flood insurance is purchased separately from the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) through local agents, agencies, and insurance companies. The National Flood Insurance Program falls under the Federal Insurance Administration which is a part of the Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA).

Coverage for damage caused by flood is generally excluded under a homeowner's policy. However, some mobile home insurance policies include damage from flood. The NFIP defines flood as a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of normally dry land areas from:

  1. Overflow of inland or tidal waters,

  2. The unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source,

  3. 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, and

  4. 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.

Flooding must cover at least 2 acres of land OR must occur on two premises. For example, flood water in the neighbor’s yard or flood water in the public street meets the requirement for flooding under the policy. Flooding 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.

Additional information about Flood Insurance may be obtained at http://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart and http://www.floir.com/Sections/PandC/FloodInsurance/FloodInsurance.aspx.

Type of Policies

Different types of policies are available based on your property’s location and flood history:

Standard 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.

Preferred Risk Policies: If your home or business is in a low or moderate risk zone, your building may qualify for a low-cost Preferred Risk Policy.

Additional information may be obtained at http://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart.

Waiting Period

Regardless of the type of flood policy you purchase, there is generally a standard 30-day waiting period, from the date of purchase, before a new flood policy goes into effect. The 30-day waiting period does not apply if:

  • The initial purchase of flood insurance occurs in connection with the making, increasing, extension, or renewal of a loan regardless of the zone and regardless of whether the lender requires the coverage; or

  • The initial purchase of flood insurance occurs within 13-months of a map change in which case a one-day wait applies.

Additional information may be obtained at http://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart.

Eligiblity and Flood Maps

A community must apply for admittance to the Flood Program, and request a study of the area’s flood potential. This study results in a Flood Hazard Boundary Map being developed, and limited coverage amounts become available. At this point of the process, the community is said to be in the Emergency Program.

A more detailed study of the community then is completed, resulting in the publishing of a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). This will make higher limits of coverage available, but only if the community agrees to pass ordinances (building construction codes, zoning, etc.) designed to lessen or eliminate future flooding. When these requirements are met, the community is said to be in the Regular Program.

Eligible Building: A structure with two or more outside walls and a fully secured roof, located on a permanent site, with 50% or more of the value above ground level. It must be located in a eligible community.

Eligible Contents: Must be located in a fully enclosed building or secured to prevent floatation out of the building. Certain specific property in basements and under elevated floors of buildings is excluded from coverage.

Please note: There are some structures and contents excluded from coverage. There are also limitations on some personal property.

Additional information may be obtained at http://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart.

Claim Disputes

NFIP Handbook English | Spanish

Flood claims fall under the jurisdiction of FEMA. Therefore, disputes are not eligible for the Residential Property Mediation Program with the Department of Financial Services. An appeal can be filed with FEMA. Your flood insurance policy should outline the process to file an appeal. In addition, the process is outlined in the NFIP Flood Insurance Claims Handbook. This can be viewed at http://www.fema.gov/library/viewRecord.do?id=2184. You should be sure to document your attempts to settle the claim with the adjuster.

Regulation

The sale of flood insurance under the National Flood Insurance Program is subject to the rules and regulations of the Federal Insurance Administration.

The Federal Insurance Administration allows state-licensed insurance companies', agents, and brokers to sell flood insurance. The State of Florida holds these companies', agents and brokers accountable for providing flood insurance customers with the same standards and level of service required of them when selling other lines of insurance.

The coverage provided by the flood insurance policy, claims handling, and the price of the policy is subject to the rules and regulations of National Flood Insurance Program.

Additional information may be obtained at http://www.floodsmart.gov/floodsmart. Information regarding the coverage, the claims process and a list of frequently asked questions..

Flood Insurance Tips

Verify before you buy!!!! Contact us to verify the license of the agent and the insurance company before you sign an application for a policy.

Prepare a Home Inventory Checklist! A home inventory along with photos and proof of ownership – will make it easier to file an accurate, detailed insurance claim in case your home is damaged or destroyed. When you have a loss, it is your responsibility to know what property you have, when it was purchased, how much you paid for it, and how much it will cost to replace it. You should also keep receipts for large purchases, or keep your credit card statements. You may be asked to prove that you ever owned the item in question. It is always a good idea to take pictures or videos of your property as well.

Keep a copy of your important documents in another location! In the event your home is totally destroyed, you would have copies of all your important documents including receipts you may need to settle a claim with your insurance company.

Don’t delay in purchasing your flood insurance policy. With only a couple of exceptions, there is a 30-day waiting for coverage to start.

If you plan to build your home, you may want to speak with your agent to determine what flood zone the new property is located in. The location of the property is used to determine how much you will pay for flood insurance.

Visit www.floodsmart.gov to obtain additional information about flood insurance.

Contact Us Or File A Complaint

Should you need additional information, you may speak with an insurance specialist between the hours of 8am–5:00pm at one of the telephone numbers listed below:

1-877-MY-FL-CFO (1-877-693-5236)

Out of State Callers: (850) 413-3089

You can also contact us for assistance anytime by email at Consumer.Services@MyFloridaCFO.com. or file a complaint through our “Consumer Help Online” website.

Contact National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

The National Flood Insurance Program maintains a website containing comprehensive information about flood insurance for consumers. The website address is www.floodsmart.gov. You may also contact 1-800-427-4661 for general flood insurance questions. For Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Disaster Assistance, call 1-800-621-3362 / (TTY: 1-800-462-7585).

Also, most insurance agents should have information regarding flood policies.