Many Florida homeowners may wonder, “Do I need flood insurance?” While homeowners are usually fully aware that they need homeowners insurance to protect their homes in the event they are damaged or destroyed, they may not know that traditional homeowners insurance alone does not cover damage caused by flooding. Instead, homeowners will need to purchase separate flood insurance coverage to fully protect their homes due to flooding from hurricanes, high river or lake levels, and tropical storms. This is not the same as water damage caused by a busted pipe or sewer backup, so homeowners will need to understand the difference in order to get the right coverage. Working with the best homeowners insurance companies in Florida is a good way to find the best insurance for floods, though there are some companies that specialize in flood insurance coverage and don’t offer other types of coverage.
- BEST OVERALL: Tower Hill Insurance
- RUNNER-UP: Neptune Flood Insurance
- BEST FOR LOW PREMIUMS: Kin Insurance
- BEST FOR SERVICE MEMBERS: USAA
- ALSO CONSIDER: Allstate
What to Consider When Choosing One of the Best Flood Insurance Companies in Florida
When shopping for the best flood insurance, Florida residents will want to look for companies that offer sufficient coverage limits, affordable rates, and a seamless and timely claims process. Finding a company with a high AM Best rating also bodes well for having claims paid as agreed.
NFIP vs. Private Flood Insurance
Flood insurance is typically available from two sources: the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and private-market flood insurance companies. Through NFIP, the federal government provides flood insurance through private insurance agents. Flood insurance coverage under NFIP is limited to $250,000 for the dwelling structure and $100,000 for personal belongings. Private-market flood insurance companies offer flood insurance to homeowners where NFIP coverage is not available or if the NFIP coverage limits are not sufficient to cover their home and belongings. Some companies also offer flood coverage as an endorsement added onto a homeowners insurance policy rather than as a stand-alone policy.
Building Coverage Limit
Flood insurance includes building coverage, which pays to repair or replace the home’s structure if it’s damaged by a covered flooding event. It’s important for homeowners to buy enough flood insurance to cover their home’s value. With an NFIP policy, the building coverage limit is $250,000. For homes that exceed this value, homeowners will need to purchase additional coverage from a private-market flood insurance company to cover the difference between what the NFIP policy will cover and the rest of the home’s value.
For instance, if a homeowner has a home valued at $450,000, they can purchase an NFIP policy for the initial $250,000 and a private-market flood insurance policy for the additional $200,000 needed to cover the home. If NFIP policies are not available, homeowners can usually purchase a private-market flood policy for the full value of the home.
Replacement Cost vs. Actual Cash Value Coverage
Replacement cost coverage helps pay to rebuild a home or replace personal belongings at current market rates, whereas actual cash value coverage pays the depreciated value of the home or personal belongings, which could mean homeowners will need to pay more out of pocket. With NFIP policies, replacement cost coverage applies to the building coverage, so it pays the amount needed to repair or rebuild the home to the same standard as it was prior to the flood damage. However, NFIP policies include actual cash value coverage for personal belongings, so homeowners may receive far less than they initially paid for their items.
Private-market flood insurance companies may have different coverage for both the building and personal belongings, so homeowners will need to ask about coverage type in advance in order to be prepared in the event they need to file a claim.
With flood insurance, Florida residents want to find the right coverage at the right price. The cost of flood insurance varies based on a number of factors, including the home’s age, location, and type of construction (wood, stucco, brick, etc.). Premiums also depend on the type and amount of flood insurance coverage as well as the deductible amount, which is the portion the homeowner pays when a claim is filed. While the premium cannot be adjusted due to such nonflexible factors as the home’s location and age, it can fluctuate if the amount of coverage or the deductible changes. Small tweaks to these factors could make the premium more affordable.
It’s necessary for homeowners to get a flood insurance quote for each policy they are considering so they have an idea of how much the policy will cost. Every flood insurance agency offers different ways to get an insurance quote, including online, by phone, or talking to an agent at a local office. Some companies may offer a basic flood insurance calculator to help homeowners gauge their approximate costs for coverage. For companies that offer an online quote process, it’s important for homeowners to note that these quotes often are based on some basic information about the home and the amount and type of coverage desired. As a result, the quotes are estimates that could change quite a bit once the homeowner provides more specific details. Talking with an agent on the phone or in person could provide a more accurate quote because the agent can ask for those specific details during the conversation, resulting in a more tailored and realistic quote.
Flood insurance policies almost always include a waiting period before claims can be filed. With NFIP, the typical waiting period is 30 days; private-market flood insurance companies generally require a 2-week waiting period. There are exceptions to the waiting period, which should be discussed with the insurance company. For example, if the homeowner just purchased the property and the mortgage company requires flood insurance, the waiting period is usually waived. Another example is if the flood risk for the home’s location is changed from a standard risk to a higher risk. In this instance, when a homeowner purchases flood insurance, the waiting period would likely be waived.
Filing a claim usually comes at a difficult time in a homeowner’s life, so they definitely don’t want to deal with a time-consuming or convoluted process to get their home or belongings replaced. Before purchasing any policy, homeowners may want to check with current and former customers of the company to find out how their claims experiences went. Another good source is checking reviews with the Better Business Bureau. The goal is to find a company that pays claims in a timely manner without a lot of red tape or delays. If there are reviews stating policyholders had to wait for claims payments or repeatedly had to reach out to the company for updates, that is likely a red flag.
How much is flood insurance? When determining flood insurance costs, homeowners will want to find out what discounts the insurance companies offer on flood insurance coverage. Many insurance companies offer discounts to policyholders who buy more than one insurance policy from them, such as homeowners and car insurance. While some insurance companies list all of their available discounts on their website, many others do not, so it’s crucial for the homeowner to ask the insurance company for a full list of discounts. There may be unexpected discounts, such as a discount for paying for the policy in full at the time of purchase, signing up for paperless billing, or enrolling in automatic payments.
Deductibles are the amount the homeowner is responsible for when filing a claim. For instance, if the deductible is $2,000 and the claim is for $50,000, the insurance company will pay $48,000 and the homeowner will be responsible for the remaining $2,000. The amount of the deductible varies, and it can typically be changed if needed. Typically, the higher the deductible, the lower the insurance premiums are on the policy. When choosing a deductible, homeowners will want to consider how much money they will have available to pay out of pocket in the event of a claim. They might find it easier to pay for a higher insurance premium over time so they can have a lower deductible.
AM Best Rating
AM Best is a credit rating agency that evaluates the creditworthiness and financial strength of insurance companies. Following its research of the companies’ credit ratings, financial data, and other data, AM Best rates companies using a scale between A++ (Superior) and D (Poor). Companies with a Superior rating are deemed to have strong financial strength, meaning they can pay their claims as agreed. As such, it’s important for homeowners to look for insurance companies that have a rating of B+ (Good) or higher. By doing so, the homeowner can have peace of mind that their claims are more likely to be paid in a timely manner.
Our Top Picks
When researching the best flood insurance in Florida, we looked at a number of key factors, including each company’s building coverage limits, available deductible options, and AM Best rating.
Why It Made the Cut: Tower Hill Insurance offers three policy options, high coverage limits, discounts for current Tower Hill policyholders, and the potential option to waive the waiting period.
Offering both NFIP and private flood insurance policies, Tower Hill offers three different ways for Florida residents to get flood insurance: a stand-alone private flood policy, an NFIP policy, or an endorsement on a homeowners insurance policy. This gives customers more options to choose from when determining the type of flood insurance policy that will work best for them. WIth these options come high coverage limits of up to $5 million for the home structure and up to $3.5 million for personal belongings, which are not typical for flood insurance policies. This can help grant peace of mind to Florida residents who own homes in high-risk areas, such as along the coast.
Also, customers who opt for Tower Hill’s private flood policy can have their 15-day waiting period waived if they are purchasing the policy for a new home that they are closing on or if they already have flood insurance coverage and are switching providers to Tower Hill. Although the company doesn’t offer an online quote option, Tower Hill offers a discounted rate to current Florida residents who have a homeowners insurance policy with Tower Hill. This discount also applies to condo insurance customers.
- NFIP vs. private flood insurance: Both
- Building coverage Limit: $5 million
- Quote process: Agent
- Waiting period: 15 days
- Claims process: Online, phone
- Deductible: $1,000 to $50,000
- AM Best rating: B+
- Multiple flood policies available
- Relatively high $5 million maximum building coverage
- Relatively high $3.5 million maximum personal property coverage
- 15-day waiting period waived for select new customers
- Generous discount for Tower Hill homeowners insurance policyholders
Why It Made the Cut: Neptune Flood Insurance specializes in flood insurance, has a quick and convenient online quote process, and offers extra coverage for homeowners with swimming pools.
Neptune specializes in flood insurance, as it’s the only type of insurance the company offers, making it a core competency and area of expertise. This means that if customers need to reach out to a representative or submit a claim, they can expect that any representatives or agents they deal with will understand the nuances of flood insurance coverage and can help the process run as smoothly as possible.
While pools are not typically covered by flood insurance, Neptune does offer pool repair and fill coverage as an optional add-on to its flood insurance. This is a great option for the many Florida residents who have swimming pools.
Although Neptune doesn’t offer the ability to file a claim online, the company uses AI technology to quickly assess the flood risk of different properties, which can help speed up the online quote process and provide potential customers with more accurate quotes on flood coverage.
- NFIP vs. private flood insurance: Private flood insurance
- Building coverage limit: $4 million
- Quote process: Online, phone
- Waiting period: 10 days
- Claims process: Phone, email, agent
- Deductible: $1,000 to $25,000
- AM Best rating: A
- Specialty in flood insurance
- Pool repair and fill coverage available
- Fast and customizable online quote process
Why It Made the Cut: Kin Insurance offers relatively low rates as well as various deductible options, a variety of optional endorsements like sinkhole coverage, and no waiting period.
Although Kin Insurance only offers flood coverage as a homeowners insurance endorsement, there’s a lot to like about the coverage it offers. For instance, Kin customers can receive relatively low rates on their flood insurance premiums. Kin also gives policyholders a wide variety of deductible options to choose from, with both very low and high deductible options to consider. This gives customers more flexibility to adjust their premiums so they can either take advantage of lower up-front costs or lower out-of-pocket costs when the time comes to submit a claim.
Kin Insurance customers can also opt for endorsements that help protect the home from a variety of natural disasters. For example, Kin offers endorsements for hurricane screen-enclosed areas such as a sunroom or porch; sinkhole coverage to help pay to repair damage caused by this type of event; and fungi coverage to help pay to test and remove fungi, mold, or bacteria in the home after a flooding event.
Kin has not yet been rated by AM Best, so the company’s financial strength is not readily apparent, but, unlike other companies, Kin does not have a waiting period for new customers, which means they don’t have to worry about when coverage will kick in.
- NFIP vs. private flood insurance: Private flood insurance
- Building coverage limit: $360,000
- Quote process: Online, phone
- Waiting period: None
- Claims process: Online, phone, email
- Deductible: $500 to $50,000
- AM Best rating: Not rated
- Relatively low flood insurance premiums
- Sinkhole, hurricane screen enclosure, and limited fungi coverage available
- Wide range of deductible options from $500 to $50,000
- No waiting period for new customers
- Flood coverage only available as homeowners insurance endorsement
- No current AM Best rating
Why It Made the Cut: USAA boasts a high AM Best rating, a dedicated mobile app for managing insurance policies and filing claims, and a variety of other policy options available to members.
Exclusively for active and former members of the military and their families, USAA offers a wide selection of insurance products for members to choose from beyond flood insurance. Some of the policy types that may appeal to Florida homeowners include home, auto, boat, personal watercraft, and classic car coverage. Customers with multiple types of USAA policies may be eligible for a bundling discount on their premiums. Because USAA flood insurance is only offered through the NFIP, there is a maximum building coverage limit of $250,000, which could be too low for many homeowners. That also means the policies have a relatively long 30-day waiting period that could be a deal-breaker for some homeowners.
On the other hand, USAA boasts a Superior AM Best rating so customers can feel secure their claims will likely be paid as agreed. In addition, USAA policyholders can manage their insurance policy through the company’s dedicated mobile app. This includes submitting claims and uploading supporting documents like pictures and receipts, as well as contacting USAA representatives for assistance.
- NFIP vs. private flood insurance: NFIP
- Building coverage limit: $250,000
- Quote process: Phone, online (for USAA members)
- Waiting period: 30 days
- Claims process: Online, app, phone
- Deductible: $1,000 to $10,000
- AM Best rating: A++
- Wide variety of other policies available
- User-friendly policy and claims management via mobile app
- A++ AM Best rating
- USAA membership limited to service members and their families
- Somewhat low $250,000 maximum building coverage
- Relatively long 30-day waiting period
Why It Made the Cut: Allstate provides standard replacement cost coverage with every flood insurance policy, and it offers high loss of use coverage limits and both NFIP and private flood insurance policies.
Allstate’s flood insurance plans come with replacement cost coverage as a standard policy term, meaning the company does not account for depreciation when determining the size of a payout on an insurance claim. As such, customers could receive larger payouts on their insurance claims—but that could come at a price, as Allstate has relatively high rates for flood insurance. The online quote process doesn’t offer customers the flexibility to adjust the different coverage amounts, deductibles, or add extra endorsements, but customers can likely get that flexibility by speaking to an agent to provide more information to be able to tweak coverage options.
Allstate also offers both NFIP and private flood insurance coverage, and policyholders can purchase as much as $150,000 in loss of use coverage as an extra endorsement. This can help pay for additional living expenses a customer may incur if they are required to relocate while repairs are made to their home after a covered event.
- NFIP vs. private flood insurance: Both
- Building coverage limit: $1.5 million
- Quote process: Phone, agent
- Waiting period: None (with private flood insurance)
- Claims process: Online, phone
- Deductible: $5,000
- AM Best rating: A+
- Standard replacement cost coverage
- High $150,000 loss of use coverage available
- Private flood insurance and NFIP coverage available
- Relatively high insurance premiums
- Limited online quote customization options
We chose Tower Hill as Best Overall because it checks so many boxes for flood insurance, including a variety of policy options and high coverage limits. Because it specializes in flood insurance, Neptune Flood Insurance is a great Runner-Up.
How We Chose the Best Flood Insurance Companies in Florida
When determining the best flood insurance companies in Florida, we considered a variety of key factors. These included what type of policy each company offers as well as the available coverage limits for both building coverage and personal belongings. We also reviewed the companies’ waiting periods before coverage begins. In addition, we checked to see each company’s deductible options and checked to see how their quote and claims processes worked. Another consideration was each company’s AM Best rating.
Before You Choose One of the Best Flood Insurance Companies in Florida
Before beginning their search for coverage, homeowners may want to consult FEMA flood maps to determine whether they need flood insurance based on their location, though in general flood insurance is a good idea for all homeowners. Additionally, while the information provided here is beneficial for many homeowners, that’s not to say that all the recommended companies will be best for all homeowners. It’s very important for every homeowner to research not only the companies featured here, but also additional companies available to service the home’s location. Thorough research is the best way to find a company that provides the best coverage at the best price for each homeowner. While detailed research is time-consuming, it’s necessary to protect one of the biggest investments many people make: their homes.
Cost of Opting for One of the Best Flood Insurance Companies in Florida
Many homeowners hope to find cheap flood insurance, but cheap doesn’t always equal the best. Flood insurance rates are calculated using a variety of factors, some of which are based on the home and policyholder, while others are based on market factors. Homeowners are encouraged to shop around and get a flood insurance quote from a minimum of three different insurance companies. They can start with the companies featured here, but they may also want to check with other companies not featured on this list. When requesting quotes, homeowners will want to provide the exact same information to each company and request the same coverage from each so the quotes will be comparable. It’s also important for homeowners to request quotes on the same day because policy rates do fluctuate. This is the best way to find the most affordable flood insurance costs. Customers may also be able to use an online flood insurance cost calculator to help estimate their coverage costs.
The Advantages of Opting for One of the Best Flood Insurance Companies in Florida
Because flood insurance is vital for many Floridian homeowners, it’s important that they choose a company that will provide the correct amount of coverage needed to help rebuild their home or replace their belongings after a covered event. The best flood insurance companies in Florida can help homeowners find the right coverage for their needs, in addition to the following benefits:
Flexible methods of requesting a flood insurance quote, such as online, though an agent, or over the phone.
- Several deductible options to cater to a wide range of customers.
- A range of coverage options designed for customers with varying home values.
- Multiple ways to file an insurance claim, including online, though an app, by phone, or in person.
- Strong AM Best ratings to help give homeowners peace of mind in their insurance provider’s financial strength.
Because flood insurance is offered a bit differently than traditional homeowners insurance, it can be confusing to understand. As a result, homeowners often have a lot of questions about flood insurance. The following are some of the most commonly asked questions about flood insurance.
Q. What is the average cost of flood insurance in Florida?
The average cost of flood insurance in Florida is $657, with a cost range between $194 and $3,877.
Q. Is flood insurance required by law in Florida?
For homes financed by a federally regulated bank that are located in a high-risk flood zone, flood insurance is required in Florida. There are a few things homeowners typically don’t know about flood insurance, including that a mortgage provider will usually require the homeowner to carry flood insurance coverage during the loan term if the home is located in a high-risk flood zone. Homeowners who have paid off their home are not required to have flood insurance, but it’s typically still a good idea for them to get flood coverage to protect their investment.
Q. Does homeowner’s insurance cover flood damage?
While homeowners insurance can cover some types of water damage, it does not cover flood damage—homeowners will need a separate flood insurance policy to help cover any flood-related damage.
Q. How can I be sure that I need flood insurance in Florida?
Homeowners can talk with their mortgage company and their insurance company to determine whether they need flood insurance in Florida.
Q. Is flood insurance paid monthly or annually in Florida?
If paying for flood insurance separately, it typically is paid annually. However, if flood insurance is paid through the homeowner’s escrow account, it usually is paid monthly.
Q. What’s the main difference between private flood insurance and NFIP policies?
NFIP policies have set maximum coverage limits. They also may not cover such extras as living expenses if the homeowner is displaced after a covered event. These policies, however, cannot be canceled. Private policies may be more flexible in coverage limits and optional coverages. Many of the best flood insurance companies offer a choice between NFIP and private flood insurance, though some will offer one or the other.