County Information Desk:
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.
In 2012, Congress passed The Flood Insurance Reform Act. There are some significant changes to how the National Flood Insurance Program is run. However, please contact your insurance agent to see if and how the changes affect your flood insurance coverage.
Community Rating System
You are eligible to purchase flood insurance as long as your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program. Check the Community Status Book to see if your community is already an NFIP partner.
Pinellas County participates in the National Flood Insurance Program on behalf of residents living in unincorporated areas.
The National Flood Insurance Program makes federally backed flood insurance available for all buildings. Flood insurance covers direct losses caused by surface flooding, including an overflowing river, near by lakes, drainage ditches, creeks and canals, a tropical storm and local drainage problems. Homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover losses due to flooding.
The National Flood Insurance Program insures with two types of coverage: structural and contents. Structural coverage is for the walls, floors and other items permanently attached to the structure. Contents coverage may be purchased separately provided the contents are in an insurable building. Renters can also purchase flood insurance for contents.
This coverage from the NFIP is an asset to you as a home or business owner. It reimburses you for covered financial losses from flood damage. For a modest annual premium, you can have peace of mind that you will be paid for your eligible losses.
The Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 and the National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994 made the purchase of flood insurance mandatory for federally backed mortgages on buildings located in an Special Hazard Flood Area. The requirement applies to secured mortgage loans from financial institutions, such as commercial lenders, savings and loan associations, and credit unions. It also applies to all mortgage loans purchased by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac in the secondary mortgage market. It also affects all forms of federally related financial assistance (from the Department of Veterans Affairs, Federal Housing Administration and Small Business Administration, for example) for buildings located in a Special Flood Hazard Area.
How It Works:
Lenders are required to complete a Standard Flood Hazard Determination form whenever they make, increase, extend or renew a mortgage, home equity, home improvement, commercial or farm credit loan. It is the federal agency’s or the lender’s responsibility to check the Flood Insurance Rate Maps to determine if the building is in a Special Flood Hazard Area.
If a person feels that a Standard Flood Hazard Determination form incorrectly places the property in the Special Flood Hazard, they can request aLetter of Determination Review from FEMA . This must be submitted within 45 days of the determination. more information here