How to Get a Flood Insurance Policy in Tampa
There are two ways to get flood insurance in Tampa:
Some homeowners may find that purchasing a combination of the two is the best option. That’s because they are combining the typically lower rate of NFIP insurance with the flexibility of an additional private policy.
Do keep in mind that your policy comes with a 30-day waiting period from date of purchase. You can qualify for a shorter waiting period if you’ve just bought your home and are buying insurance for the first time. If your home was just designated to be in a high-risk area, you can also qualify for a shorter waiting period.
National Flood Insurance Program ( NFIP )
Most property owners purchase a flood insurance policy backed by the National Flood Insurance Program ( NFIP ). The NFIP is operated by the federal government and is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency ( FEMA ).
You must purchase an NFIP policy through a local insurer. While the product is essentially the same, different insurers can charge different prices for the same product. That’s because overhead and other business expenses vary from company to company.
Private Flood Insurance
If you have a high-value property that exceeds NFIP coverage limits —or if you’d just prefer to work only with a private insurer—you can purchase a flood policy through a private company like Assurant or the Zurich Insurance Group.
These policies tend to be more expensive, but they also tend to offer more flexibility in coverage options and limits. Just be sure that your policy is compliant with your lender ’s requirements.
Can I Buy Flood Insurance Directly from FEMA?
No, you cannot buy directly from FEMA. FEMA exists to coordinate disaster responses to declared emergencies. While FEMA does offer payouts to victims of natural disasters (and other disaster events), there are limitations.
First, payouts are only given to people who have suffered from an event that’s been officially declared a disaster or emergency. Most flood events are not so catastrophic to warrant a response from FEMA.
Second, even when the event meets disaster requirements, the payouts are small. The maximum payout is $30,000 per household. But the average payout is between $7,000 and $8,000.