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Flood Insurance Information
Did You Know...
  • There are over 40,000 flood insurance policies in force in unincorporated Hillsborough County providing $10 million in property coverage.
  • Because the County has adopted more stringent flood mitigation measures, Hillsborough County has received a Class 5 (out of 10) rating in FEMA’s Community Rating System (CRS); and there are only 75 other communities, out of the 21,700+ in the US, that have a better rating.
  • Hillsborough County residents enjoy a 25% discount on their flood insurance policies each year because of its excellent CRS 5 rating.
  • The Class 5 CRS rating saves the average property owner more than $100 per flood insurance policy each year in high risk areas.
  • The Class 5 CRS rating saves the community more than $5 million in flood insurance premiums per year.

Flood Insurance
Flood insurance is an important first step in protecting your financial investment. Over the life of a 30-year loan, a home in a high-risk area (known as a Special Flood Hazard Area) has about a two-and-a-half times greater chance of having a flood than having a fire. In accordance with the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 and the National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994, flood insurance is required for all structures located in a high-risk area, that carry a home mortgage loan backed by a federally-regulated lender or servicer. The risk can vary dramatically from neighborhood to neighborhood and within a neighborhood. Remember, flood insurance is available for all properties, regardless of risk designation, and that homeowners insurance does not typically protect you from flood damage. Learn more by visiting the National Flood Insurance Program consumer website.

Flood Insurance Requirements and Options
With flood map updates, some property owners' flood insurance requirements may change. However, options exist that will allow property owners to save money while still protecting their property.
If Maps Show...
These Requirements, Options, and Savings Apply
Change from low or moderate flood risk to high risk (flood zone B, C or X to zone A, AE, AH, AO, V or VE)   Flood insurance is mandatory. Flood insurance is federally required for most mortgage holders. Insurance costs will rise to reflect the true (high) risk.
Preferred Risk Policy (PRP) Eligibility Extension offers savings. On Jan. 1, 2011, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) extended the eligibility of low-cost PRPs for two years for properties newly mapped into a high-risk zone. On Jan. 13, 2012, the eligibility period for expiring 2-year PRPs has been extended by the NFIP for another year, until further notice. Your insurance agent can provide more details on how to save.
Change from high flood risk to low or moderate risk (zone A, AE, AH, or AO to Zone X or shaded X) Flood insurance is optional, but recommended. The risk has only been reduced, not removed. Flood insurance can still be obtained, at lower rates. Twenty-25 percent of all flood insurance claims come from low to moderate risk areas.
Conversion offers savings. An existing policy can be converted to a lower-cost Preferred Risk Policy, if the building qualifies. Note that lenders always have the option to require flood insurance in these areas.
 
No change in risk level  No change in insurance rates. Residents can talk to their insurance agent to learn their specific risk and take steps to protect their property and assets.  

Benefits & Further Information About National Flood Insurance Program

  • Historically, nearly 25% of all flood claims paid out are on properties located outside of high risk flood areas.
  • Most Homeowner's insurance does not cover flood damage.
  • Properties located in low- or moderate-risk flood zones (marked B, C, X or shaded X on the flood maps) can and still do flood; but property owners may be eligible to purchase a flood insurance policy, a Preferred Risk Policy, at reduced premiums.
  • The higher up a property owner raises their structure above the base flood elevation in high risk areas (to a certain limit), the lower their insurance premiums will be. A property owner in a high risk area could save as much as 50% in premium payments by building just 2-3 feet above the base flood elevation.
  • Unless required by a lender, there typically is a 30-day wait after the purchase of a flood insurance policy before it becomes effective. 

Additional Information on Flood Insurance