The City of Key West, Florida

The Southernmost City in the Continental United States


Flood Insurance Info


Note: The opptions shown below may be affected by the new Risk Rating 2.0 when it goes live in October 2021.  Risk Rating 2.0 is a proposed new method of rating building for flood insurance; very little is presently known about how it might work.

  • Q: Regarding moving from X-zone to A (or some other zone) and a possible grace period
    • A: The best recommendation is to have a Preferred Risk Policy (PRP; if they qualify per NFIP 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. (Note that the link to the latest version of this fact sheet is broken, so what is included is to the old fact sheet…same info-previous look. We'll get you the updated version ASAP.)

  • Q: Regarding obtaining a policy before the effective date and a 1-year timeline:
    • A: With the Newly Mapped Procedure, the rate starts out at the 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: 

      1. The standard Zone X rate or if the rate using the new zone (i.e., A or V) and an Elevation Certificate becomes cheaper (which the insurance agent will need to determine). 

        • A policy rated this way can be transferred to a new owner should the building be sold, so that they can continue with the benefits of this rating.

      2. If a policy is grandfathered (e.g., had too many losses to qualify for the Newly Mapped - went from Zone A to Zone V - or, increase in Base Flood Elevation),

        • it is recommended that a policy is in place BEFORE the maps change (that is a must if it is pre-FIRM) and then flood insurance must be maintained.  This rating procedure will lock in the lower risk zone or BFE for future rating (it does NOT lock in the rate). A grandfather-rated policy can also be transferred to a new owner.  The policy will be continued to be rated using that lower risk zone/BFE as long as the building is not substantially damaged/improved.

  • Q: How and when will a flood risk increase impact my bills?

    • A: If your flood risk has increased, your building and flood insurance requirements may change with the new flood maps become effective. The NFIP has cost-saving options to help reduce the financial impact such as Newly Mapped Procedure and Grandfathering. (See also Map Changes for Property Owners.)

      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.

  • Q: If I'm in a high-risk flood zone (type "A" or "V") and my BFE (flood level) goes up in the new maps, what's the impact on my premium? How fast are new premiums reflected on the policy?

    • A: If you have flood insurance in place and continue coverage after the new maps become effective, this will lock the lower 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). 

  • Q: Where can we find general LiMWA (the new type of flood zones known as Coastal A Zones) information?

    • A: Fact sheets are available at this link. FEMA has produced a video esplaining this new type of flood zone.  The most important to understand is that communities need to build to V zone standards seaward of the LiMWA line (Limit of Moderate Wave Action).  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 accociated with these new Coastal A Zones, the entire flood insurance rate structure is being redesigned for the year 2021; so this may change. 

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