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.
Fair Insurance Rates in Monroe
Fighting against excessive, discriminatory and unaffordable insurance rates since 2006
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.”
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.
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.
Keyswide Home Elevation Education Project
FIRM is partnering with the City of Key West, Monroe County, and Monroe County Extension Services to help homeowners elevate their homes out of the floodplain. The partners are researching aspects of home elevation including cost, return on investment, methods, barriers, permitting, duration and financing.
Visit the program page to learn more and to see videos covering these various aspects of elevating and information specific to your local jurisdiction.
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.
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
Robert F. Sharpe
Lee and Pat Cummings
Steve and Kathy Russ
Betty Metz Rubenstein
Lady Alexander Association, Inc.
Mary Ellen Beattie
Clements Family Charitable Trust
Island of Key Largo Federation of Homeowner Associations
Homes and Land Magazine
Florida Keys Electric Cooperative
Sellers Insurance, LLC
AM Electric and Sunmasters AM
The Cabana Club Key Colony Beach
Check Construction, LLC
Business & Professional Women/Marathon
Marge & Rick Holtz
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
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
Coldwell Banker Schmitt
Action Keys Realty
Florida Keys Realty, Inc.
American Caribbean Real Estate
Time Out Magazine
RE/MAX All Keys Real Estate
Beach Club Brokers
Oropeza, Stones & Cardenas
Key West Printing
Concord Mortgage Group
Holiday Inn Express
The Midas Touch
Fury Water Adventures
Fish 'N Chicks Charters
Stuart M. Kaufman
Douglas & Geraldine Mader
Anthony J. Barrows
Mr. & Mrs. Charles E. Taylor
Jeff & Tammy Smith
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.