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Donate to FIRM

FIRM advocates on behalf of Monroe County residents and property owners.  You can help FIRM continue its mission by donating today!

FIRM fights for fair, equitable and affordable property insurance coverage for homeowners, residents and business owners, which protects property values and contributes to housing affordability.

FIRM empowers Monroe County residents to make informed decisions about property insurance coverage, the claims process, mitigation and storm preparedness.

FIRM logo

Fair Insurance Rates in Monroe

Fighting against excessive, discriminatory and unaffordable insurance rates since 2006

Keyswide Home Elevation Education Project and FEMA Flood Mitigation Assistance Grant Program

FIRM partnered with the City of Key West, Monroe County, and Monroe County Extension Services to educate homeowners on the steps to elevate their homes out of the floodplain. The project explored all aspects of home elevation including cost, return on investment, methods, barriers, permitting, duration and financing.

Now it's time to put that knowledge into action!

Are you interested in obtaining grant funds to elevate, demolish/reconstruct, or sell your home that is below base flood elevation, at risk of flooding, or has flooded before with a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) flood insurance claim?

If so, Monroe County is participating in a national grant program known as Flood Mitigation Assistance (FMA) to help with these costs.

  • Elevate
  • Demolish/Reconstruct
  • Sell

The application deadline is November 2, 2022. Monroe County is currently accepting applications for the fiscal year 2022 (FY 2022) FMA grant program.

Click on the button below to learn more and to see a list of contractors who will help homeowners complete the estimate portion of the application.

What could FEMA's Risk Rating 2.0 mean for the Florida Keys?

FIRM estimates homeowners throughout Monroe County could see flood insurance rate increases ranging from $100 to $9,000 annually-with an average increase of $3,200 - if FEMA's proposed Risk Rating 2.0 goes into effect on Oct. 1, as planned.

"Rate increases of this size," said Mel Montagne, president of FIRM, "will be devastating to the economies of coastal communities, like Monroe County, and the increases could force homeowners to drop coverage, an action that would then compel the lender to force-place flood coverage, or even worse, lose their homes."

FIRM is building a database of how premiums are affected by the new methodology.  We are asking insurance agents from Monroe County, other counties in Florida, and other coastal communities throughout the country to submit property ratings. You can click on the button below to see how we're doing that.

You'll see the resultsof FIRM's analysis including a real-time dashboard showing the results of the combined analysis to date.  The dashboard is updated as more properties are submitted.

We will share the database with Members of Congress to show real-life examples of how homeowners will be affected.

90-day appeal period for FEMA's proposed flood maps ended June 17, 2021

The 90-day appeal period for the FEMA flood maps started March 18, 2021 and ended on June 17, 2021.

FEMA has acknowledged receipt of appeals from the City of Key West, Monroe County, Marathon, and Islamorada.  Unlike previous steps in the floodmapping process there is no set time in which FEMA will respond with a request for more information or a determination on the appeals. The flowchart at the bottom left is where we are now. Watch this space for updates as they occur.

City of Key West Floodplain Manager Scott Fraser's created a video presentation with an overview of the Key West's appeal here

The on-line story map featured in the presentation can found here.

(links work best with Edge, Firefox or Wave browsers)

Monroe County created a three-panel comparison application that shows property owners in unincorporated Monroe County the current Effective FEMA Flood Maps, the FEMA Preliminary Flood Maps, and the County's Appeal Flood Maps developed by Woods Hole Group for Monroe County's appeal of the Preliminary Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMS). Find info for using the County's comparison maps here.

The City of Key West and Monroe County have both updated their websites for residents who want to learn more about their floodzone and their right to appeal.

Appeals Process and Requirements for individuals

What's happening? FEMA is updating the flood maps on which your flood insurance premiums are based.  Because the Keys and most of the state of Florida lie within significant flood prone areas, any effort by FEMA to alter the maps can have a significant effect on homeowners, businesses and other entities relying on FEMA and the NFIP for flood insurance.

For every $500 increase in your premium, your property value could decrease $10,000.

Updated Monroe County Property Insurance User's Guide

The popular FIRM Monroe County Property Insurance User's Guide has been updated. The new format is easier to read and available for download.

The guide was designed to be a general aid to consumers in making choices about property insurance in Monroe County and the Florida Keys.  Many residents are transplants who have never been required to carry windstorm or flood insurance, so the guide answers some basic questions about these products.  It is not meant to be a substitute for formal legal or regulatory advice provided by attorneys or insurance agents, or to advise on any individual choice or claim.

Follow latest news from FIRM

FIRM follows and shares news and information from the most trusted sources. We ensure you have the best information on wind and flood insurance issues in the Florida Keys and the state.

Check the events calendar

Want to know what FIRM is doing? Check our events calendar for opportunities to learn more about flood and wind insurance, how climate affects our community -- or just have some fun at  our community events.

Let your voice count

Become a member of FIRM today and ensure decision makers hear your voice. FIRM members gain access to important information to help shape flood and wind insurance policies. Membership is free.

Learn about wind insurance

Wind insurance is one of the most expensive parts of home and business ownership in the Florida Keys. Understanding how the state manages wind insurance coverage and rates can make a difference in your costs.

Learn about flood insurance

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) underwrites the costs of flood insurance -- and there are ongoing efforts to increase those rates. The more you understand, the better you can control costs.

Make a donation

FIRM relies on people like you to support our efforts in Washington, Tallahassee and Monroe County. Your donation ensures we fulfill our mission to fight unaffordable property insurance rates.

Latest news from FIRM

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New report underscores Monroe County poverty issue

September 25, 2023

By TIMOTHY O’HARA Keys Citizen Sep 23, 2023 A new report shows that Monroe County continues to be one of the most difficult and expensive places in the state, if…

Read More
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Escape to Little Palm Island Raffle is back!

September 20, 2023

Have you always dreamed of a get-away to Little Palm Island? Here’s your chance! FIRM’s Escape to Little Palm Island is back! Only 100 tickets will be sold at $100…

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FIRM on Facebook

What do you need to know today?

Many Key West and Monroe County residents are transplants who have never been required to carry windstorm or flood insurance. That can come as a surprise. Even old hands struggle to understand the complexities of the insurance requirements and the mitigation possibilities.

Our FIRM guide answers some basic questions about these products. And, we've created a collection of resources from trusted sources that can help you navigate the flood and wind insurance challenges.

Meet our members, donors and sponsors

Sugar Loaf Shores Property Owners Association

Sugarloaf Shores Property Owners Association






key west sunrise rotary

Key West Sunrise Rotary Club in the Conch Republic








Robert F. Sharpe

First Horizon Foundation Logo

Houston Insurance logo













Lee and Pat Cummings

Theresa Faber

Peter Rysman

Steve and Kathy Russ

Meredith Cline

Betty Metz Rubenstein

Lady Alexander Association, Inc.

Bryan Hawks

Mary Ellen Beattie

Clements Family Charitable Trust

Island of Key Largo Federation of Homeowner Associations

Jo Ann Cook

Homes and Land Magazine

Edward Jones

Florida Keys Electric Cooperative

Sellers Insurance, LLC

Brenda Donnelly

Rep. Holly Raschein

Carolyn Frey


AM Electric and Sunmasters AM

The Cabana Club Key Colony Beach

Check Construction, LLC

Business & Professional Women/Marathon

Key West Butterfly & Nature Conservatory

Dr. Ashley Hoyt, A.P.

Marge & Rick Holtz

Campbell Cawood

Jerry and Kristina Paul

Atlantic Coral Harbor Condominium Association

Richard and Margaret Whitcomb

Superior Electric of the Keys

Florida Keys Realty Group

Lisa Ferringo & Associates

Patti Nickless

Key Colony Beach Realty, Inc.

True Title Agency, Inc.

Law Offices of Thomas D. Wright

Rose Dell & Associates

Smith Hawks Attorneys at Law

Keys Federal Credit Union

Absolute First Title, LLC

Island Life Inspections

Florida Keys Vacations

Ed Anderson

Coldwell Banker Schmitt

Cheryl Moses

Action Keys Realty

Lisa Carter

Florida Keys Realty, Inc.

Sandy Tuttle

American Caribbean Real Estate

Time Out Magazine

Doug Goethel

D'Asign Source

Mallory Morton

RE/MAX All Keys Real Estate

Tewes Mortgage

Beach Club Brokers

Oropeza, Stones & Cardenas

Key West Printing

Scott Forman

Sara Hallett

Robin Mitchell

Kristen Eklund

Sam Steele

Concord Mortgage Group

Shannon Mahaffey

Holiday Inn Express


The Midas Touch

Fury Water Adventures

Fish 'N Chicks Charters

Sebago Watersports

Stuart M. Kaufman

Douglas & Geraldine Mader

Scott Fraser

The Law Office of 

Anthony J. Barrows

Mr. & Mrs. Charles E. Taylor

Jeff & Tammy Smith

Ally Kelley

Greg & Dawn MacLaren

Leslie Valant

Maria Brandvold

Greg Coldiron

Sexton Family Foundation Trust

Colonel Pete Knaup

Port Supply

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What do our members, donors and sponsors say about FIRM?

"In the first six months after forming, the members of FIRM were able to help repeal a proposed 25% residential windstorm premium increase for Monroe County and went on to further reduce residential rates from Citizens Property Insurance Corporation for Monroe County by over 30%"


"Over the past 35 years, Florida's families have paid into the NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) over $16 billion, four times more than the amount they have received in claim reimbursements. We have done more than our fair share to make the NFIP financially sound. In addition, Florida's superior coastal building code standards and leading efforts in the area of hurricane loss mitigation have further reduced exposure for the NFIP. Florida's rates should commensurately reflect these important risk-mitigating factors."

-Gov. Rick Scott
Letter to Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio

"FIRM will continue our mission to move toward residential, condominium and commercial property insurance rates in Monroe County that are neither excessive, discriminatory, nor unaffordable. We will strive to sustain and support our Keys communities by instigation of appropriate physical and financial property protection. "


"I cannot tell you how very grateful I am to FIRM."

-Sue in Islamorada

"Thank you for all that FIRM does for our community."

-Kris in Marathon

"Keep up the good work"

-John in Big Pine Key

"Thank you for the wonderful information at your forums.  As we evacuated for Irma I grabbed our white FIRM Home Property Binder and added my insurance policies to take along.  This proved very beneficial in apply to FEMA and making contact with the insurance companies to initiate a claim within days of the storm." - Angela in Key West

"Your advice to request an explanation from my insurance company regarding my flood rating allowed them to properly re-evaluate our premium.  A happy ending!  Thank you all for your time and sound, common sens advice!!" - Jeffrey in Key West

Thank you for all that you do!!! - Sugarloaf Shores Property Owners Assn.