The most common and most damaging natural disasters in the country are floods. Most homeowners’ and business insurance policies do not cover flooding. OIR encourages consumers to be prepared and consider flood insurance coverage.
Flooding is a serious risk in Florida due to the state’s geography, the frequency of storms, and proximity to water, both inland and on the coast. Insurance to cover this risk is not typically provided in a homeowner’s policy, so it must be purchased separately. Depending on a home’s location, flood insurance may be a required purchase as a condition of a mortgage.
A vast majority of flood insurance coverage is federally regulated and provided through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is administered through the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). To qualify for flood insurance, a community must join the NFIP and agree to enforce sound floodplain management standards. When this happens, the residents in that community are allowed to participate in and purchase flood insurance coverage through the NFIP. The NFIP Write Your Own (WYO) Program allows participating property and casualty insurance companies to write and service the Standard Flood Insurance Policy in their own names.
OIR has worked to expand Florida’s private flood insurance market, providing for more consumer choice and competition in the marketplace. Insurance companies writing in the private flood insurance market are currently writing primary or excess flood insurance outside of the NFIP. Some of these companies write only a limited number of policies or only certain types of flood policies, such as for high value homes. The coverage can be written as a stand-alone flood policy or as an endorsement onto a homeowner’s policy.
FEMA's flood map service can help consumers determine their flood risk. Depending on the location, consumers may qualify as a high risk, moderate/low risk, or undetermined risk.
Generally, NFIP standard flood insurance policy pays for direct physical damage to the insured property up to the replacement cost or actual cash value (ACV) of actual damages, or the policy limits of coverage, whichever is less. A summary of coverage for NFIP policies can be found here. Private insurers may have higher limits or broader coverage than NFIP policies. For private flood policies, be sure to speak with the insurer or agent regarding coverage.
The NFIP is administered through FEMA. Florida leads the nation in the number of NFIP policies in force. To qualify for flood insurance, a community must join the NFIP and agree to enforce sound floodplain management standards. To find out if your community participates in the NFIP:
The list below shows insurance companies in Florida that are eligible to write primary or excess flood insurance outside of the NFIP for personal lines and is based on information filed with OIR. For information about coverage or to obtain a quote, OIR recommends contacting the insurance company directly to see what coverage is available or discussing various options with your insurance agent.
Florida law facilitates and simplifies an insurer’s ability to develop private flood insurance policies within the state. OIR encourages insurers to consider writing private flood insurance in the marketplace to provide additional options for Florida consumers. For questions regarding private flood rate, form filing requirements or financial requirements, please email PrivateFlood@floir.com.
To become a private flood insurance writer in Florida, a company must first be licensed to write business in this state. Visit OIR’s Company Admissions page for information on becoming a licensed Property and Casualty insurer in Florida.
For insurers already licensed in Florida, private flood insurance coverage can be written as a stand-alone flood policy under the Allied Lines line of business or as an endorsement to a Personal Residential policy.
Insurers seeking to write private flood insurance in Florida outside of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) can write primary flood insurance or excess flood insurance.
Florida law requires most flood insurance policy types to be at least as broad as the NFIP, provides flexibility in flood coverages provided, and allows insurers to develop customized flood coverage. In addition, Florida law suspends some requirements allowing surplus lines agents to export flood coverage without demonstrating that coverage is available from licensed insurers.
Insurers writing private flood insurance in Florida voluntarily participate in data and loss ratio collection efforts.
Section 627.715, Florida Statutes, establishes guidelines for filings made to OIR by an insurer wanting to provide private flood insurance in Florida.
There are five types of flood coverage that may be written, and these coverages are defined in section 627.715, Florida Statutes. These types include:
The Standard, Preferred, and Customized types of flood coverage must be at least as broad as the coverage offered by NFIP.
Insurers may request OIR to certify that a policy, contract, or endorsement provides coverage for the peril of flood which equals or exceeds flood coverage offered by the NFIP. The certification ensures policies meet or exceed NFIP coverage.
Note that section 627.715, Florida Statutes, does not apply to the commercial lines market. Commercial non-residential property rates (including that for flood coverage) are informational due to a separate provision of Florida law. For commercial flood coverage, the insurer has the option to file the forms as informational pursuant to section 627.4102, Florida Statutes.
Where to Submit a Rate or Form Filing:Section 627.410, Florida Statutes, requires OIR to approve forms before use. All filings are submitted through OIR’s Insurance Regulation Filing System (IRFS).