Citizens policyholders required to purchase flood insurance

Image of flood insurance policy

The Florida Legislative Session begins on March 7, and FIRM is working on a number of issues, most notably the new flood insurance requirement for Citizens policyholders that was enacted during the December 2022 Special Session.

What is the new requirement?

Citizens policyholders must secure and maintain flood insurance regardless of whether they are in areas prone to inundation, elevated, or do not have a Federally backed mortgage.

This requirement was in many ways a result of the widespread flooding (much of it inland) that occurred during Hurricane Ian where many homeowners found out too late that most homeowners policies do not cover flood losses.

In other areas of the state, flood insurance is not widely  purchased, but many Florida Keys residents are either required to carry flood insurance or purchase it as an extra precaution.

What is FIRM's response to the requirement?

FIRM supports efforts to protect from flood and ensure homeowners are educated about what their policies do and do not cover. However, the flood insurance requirement has led to an additional financial burden for Monroe County residents already struggling to afford astronomical windstorm insurance rates.

What can you do?

During the upcoming Florida Legislative Session, FIRM will be working with our House and Senate representatives to try and address this and other property insurance issues. We encourage you to reach out to Representative Mooney and Senator Rodriguez as well--it helps them to have information they can share with their colleagues in Tallahassee about the impact of these requirements.

You can use these bullet points in your correspondence, but also include details about your personal situation. And do share your contact information so they can reach out to you if they have questions.

  • The requirement gives no credit to property owners who have mitigated for flood damage, either by elevating or by buying in a low-risk zone.
  • It may leave Monroe County residents with no choice but to drop their Citizens windstorm insurance and to be underinsured--the opposite of what the requirement intends.
  • Those with a mortgage who can't afford flood insurance will be left with no choice to but sell, and the requirement limits their potential buyers.