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Flood waters could undermine the ground under the first floor, causing the entire building to collapse. The water may never touch your unit, yet it could be destroyed by flood damage, which wouldn’t be covered by a homeowner’s policy.
Most local insurance companies offer flood insurance policies through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Regardless of which Agent you contact, NFIP coverage should cost the same. The easiest was to find an agent in Key West is to search the internet for: Flood insurance agents "key west."
The best recommendation is to have a Preferred Risk Policy (PRP; if they qualify per National Flood Insurance Program rules) in place before the maps become effective. If not, they still have 12 months from the effective date to purchase a PRP. They will then be rated using the Newly Mapped Procedure (PDF). (Note that the link to the latest version of this fact sheet is broken, so what is included is to the old fact sheet with the same information-previous look. We’ll get you the updated version.)
With the Newly Mapped Procedure, the rate starts out at the Preferred Risk Policy (PRP) rate and then will increase each year no more than 18% (currently it has been at around 15% each year). It will stop increasing when it reaches one of two values:
If your flood risk has increased, your building and flood insurance requirements may change with the new flood maps become effective. The National Flood Insurance Program, (NFIP) has cost-saving options to help reduce the financial impact such as Newly Mapped Procedure (PDF) and Grandfathering. View Map Changes for Property Owners (PDF).
If your flood risk has decreased, there’s still a risk. Ask your agent about converting your policy to a lower-cost Preferred Risk Policy. Please remember, maps cannot be used for insurance rating until the effective date has been reached.
If you have flood insurance in place and continue coverage after the new maps become effective, this will lock the lower Base Flood Elevation (BFE) in place for future rating. If the building is sold, you can transfer the policy to the new owner so they may continue benefiting from this lower-cost rating option. (This also applies for properties changing from Zone A to Zone V).
Fact sheets are available at this link. FEMA has produced a video explaining this new type of flood zone. The most important to understand is that communities need to build to V zone standards seaward of the Limit of Moderate Wave Action Line (LiMWA). There are no special insurance rates or different requirements between the LiMWA and Zone V (Coastal A Zone); however, if a person builds to the V zone standards in the Coastal A Zone, it may result in lower premiums.
While there aren’t yet any negative flood insurance rates associated with these new Coastal A Zones, the entire flood insurance rate structure is being redesigned for the year 2021; so this may change.