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.
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.
Flood insurance premium reductions are determined by a community's CRS Class. Policyholders in a CRS community can receive premium reductions from five percent to as much as 45 percent for an insured building in a CRS Class 1 community.
Each CRS-participating community is assigned a Class number ranging from CRS Class 1 to 10, based on credit points it earns for implementing various floodplain management practices. A CRS Class 1 is the most favorable classification, and CRS Class 9 is an introductory Class. A community with a CRS Class 10 designation no longer participates in the CRS.
The insurance premium reduction is based on whether a property is in or out of the Special Flood Hazard Area. The premium reduction for properties in an Special Flood Hazard Area increases according to the community's CRS Class. A community's classification is based on the total number of credit points it earns.
Pinellas County actively participates in the NFIP and the CRS on behalf of residents living in unincorporated areas. Unincorporated Pinellas County is currently rated a CRS Class 7.