Do You Need Flood Insurance Even if You Don’t Live in a Flood Zone?

You know waterfront living carries risk of flooding, but did you know that about 25 percent of all flood claims come from moderate- to low-risk areas?

Every year, thousands of homes flood that aren’t in a designated flood zone.  Because Florida has flat terrain, low elevation and a high water table, realistically, nearly the whole state is a flood zone.

Flood facts

Flooding is the most common and expensive natural disaster homeowners face. Many Florida homeowners don’t realize that standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding. For flood coverage, you need a separate flood insurance policy.

Flood insurance covers physical losses to the structure of your home, including systems like plumbing, electrical, and HVAC, as well as your personal belongings up to the policy limit.

Floods can result from many causes, such as heavy rains, flash floods, storm surge, ground water rising, rivers overflowing. New land development can change the way water flows, affecting your risk of flooding. Flood damage is extremely costly. According to, just one inch of water can do an average of $25,000 damage to a home.

Why does it cost so much to repair? Because flood waters not only damage belongings like furniture and appliances, they also wreak havoc with the structure and systems of your home. Flooding can also contaminate wells or carry debris that clogs septic tanks. And if flood water comes into your home, mold and mildew may grow on anything the water touches.

Flood insurance options

Homeowners may choose to buy flood insurance two ways, through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or through a private flood insurance company. For many years, the NFIP was the only choice, but new technology has made flooding more predictable, so more private insurance carriers are entering the flood insurance market.

Either option will provide insurance coverage for flood damage, but there are some advantages to buying a flood policy from a private insurer. With the NFIP, coverage is capped at a $250,000 limit—that may not be enough to cover your losses. You can get higher limits with private insurance companies. You’ll also have a 30-day waiting period before your flood coverage goes into effect with the NFIP that you often won’t have with a private flood insurance provider.

Call us for a quote!

If you need a quick and easy flood insurance quote for your home (or your business), give L & M Insurance Group a call at 813-672-4100, or click here for an online quote. Our independent agency writes with many quality insurance carriers for all insurance needs—including, home, auto, flood, and commercial insurance throughout Florida. Let us help you find the coverage you need to protect your most valuable investments: your home, your vehicles, and your business.


With NFIP Flood Insurance Prices Rising, Is It Time to Consider Private Flood Insurance?

Insuring a home in a flood zone has just become more expensive. Recent changes to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) went into effect Oct. 1, 2021 for all new flood insurance policies, and will begin affecting existing flood policies at renewal. Under the new program, called Risk Rating 2.0, 80 percent of Florida’s flood policy premiums will be going up, according to FEMA, the government agency which administers the NFIP.

There is another option. Flood insurance written by a private company may be a good fit for you if your premium goes up under the NFIP, or if you need higher limits of coverage than that program offers (see below).

Who needs flood insurance?

Florida is surrounded by water and experiences frequent storms and heavy rain, so flood risk is higher here than in much of the U.S. Even if your home is not in a high-risk area, you may still want to carry flood insurance. Between 20 and 25 percent of flood losses in the U.S. are outside of a high-risk flood zone. (Click to find your flood zone.)

Damage from flooding can be devastatingly expensive—just one inch can do more than $25,000 worth of damage, and the average flood loss can be as much as $40,000. And remember, standard homeowners, renters, and business policies do not cover flood damage. You’ll need to buy a flood policy if you want coverage.

NFIP or private insurance?

Flood insurance policies cover physical damage caused by flooding to the structure and major systems of your home, as well as to your personal belongings, such as furniture, clothing, or electronics. However, the most you can insure for under the NFIP is $250,000 for your home and $100,000 for your personal property. If you need higher limits, you’ll likely have to buy a policy through a private flood insurance company.

With NFIP policies, there’s usually a 30-day waiting period. Policies offered by private insurers come with a shorter waiting period, or none at all.

Other things to be aware of while you’re shopping for a flood policy: some private flood insurance companies will not insure mobile homes, and very rarely, a mortgage company will not accept flood coverage from a private company. Make sure the policy you buy will satisfy your mortgage lender’s requirements.

Private flood insurance may be cheaper than NFIP coverage. Private companies have more flexibility in calculating their rates than the NFIP does, and that may result in a lower premium for consumers.

Let L & M Insurance Group give you a flood insurance quote

Don’t wait until a storm is brewing to decide you need coverage for flood losses. The agents at L & M Insurance Group can help you decide which flood insurance policy is right for you. In addition to writing for the NFIP, we represent several private flood insurance companies that write flood insurance at competitive rates. Click here to fill out an online request for a flood insurance quote, or call us at 813-672-4100.