National Flood Insurance Program protects your most important investment–your home or business and its contents. The insurance is considerably less expensive than federal disaster loans and it’s 100 percent backed by the U.S. government.
You are not covered for flood damage under your homeowner’s or tenant’s insurance, these policies specifically exclude flooding. Much of Pinellas County is prone to flooding, so you should consider getting flood insurance.
Don't assume that you're safe from flooding just because you live on the third floor of your condo building. If a severe flood wipes out the ground floor of your building, all of the other units in the building (including your own) may become uninhabitable as well.
Flood insurance rates are calculated based on a variety of factors, including FEMA flood zone , structure elevation, and building construction. Policies can be purchased for contents only, building only, or both contents and building coverage. Getting an Elevation Certificate will help agents properly rate your policy.
Flood insurance has a 30 day wait period before coverage starts, so you will not be insured if you wait until a flood forecast to take out your policy.
On March 21, 2014 the President signed the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014. This law may have impacts to your flood insurance rates. The County recommends that you check with your insurance agent to verify any changes to your policy.
Flood Insurance Eligibility:
You are eligible to purchase flood insurance as long as your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program. You are also eligible for a discounted rate if your community participates in the Community Rating System.
Community Rating System (CRS)
To encourage communities to establish a floodplain management program that recognizes and encourages floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum National Flood Insurance Program requirements, the Community Rating System was created. This program provides communities with discounts to flood insurance rates.
Pinellas County actively participates in the NFIP and the CRS on behalf of residents living in unincorporated areas. From October 2014 to September 2015, an audit was conducted on the County’s Community Rating System (CRS) program by Insurance Services Office, Inc. (ISO), contractors for the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Prior to this audit, Pinellas County was a Class 7, which provided residents and businesses in the unincorporated limits of the County’s Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) a 15% discount on their flood insurance premiums.
CRS classes and premium discounts: