Understanding flood insurance

FIRM advocates for Monroe County residents, businesses and homeowners. We have fought successfully since 2006 against excessive, discriminatory and unaffordable property insurance rates.

flood resources

Quick links to Key West, Monroe County and Federal Resources

Monroe County, Key West and the Federal Emergency Management Administration maintain detailed and updated information on flood insurance requirements for homeowners, businesses and landlords and access to interactive maps and applications for flood mitigation grants.

City of Key West

City of Key West

The city offers an interactive map with property values and floodplain documents and a substantial improvement and damage tracking module.

Monroe County seal

Monroe County

The county’s floodplain management program includes information on ordinances and regulations, new maps and the popular flood mitigation grants.



The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is managed by the FEMA and is delivered to the public by a network of more than 50 insurance companies.

New Florida flood insurance requirements

Citizens' Property Insurance Corp.

adds flood policy mandate

Effective Jan. 1, 2024, Citizens requires flood insurance coverage for new and renewal policies with wind coverage that insure dwellings with a replacement cost of $600,000 or more. By 2027, all structures regardless of value will be required to have flood insurance.


Citizens logo

Learn more about the mandate

The law mandates all policies with wind coverage must maintain flood coverage as outlined below.

  • Effective January 1, 2025 - Structures that have a dwelling replacement cost of $500,000 or more
  • Effective January 1, 2026 - Structures that have a dwelling replacement cost of $400,000 or more
  • Effective January 1, 2027 - All structures (including tenant) regardless of value
Risk Rating 2.0

Risk Rating 2.0 versus Flood zones

Risk Rating 2.0 — not your flood zone — determines your flood insurance premium. For almost six decades most Florida Keys homeowners have known what flood zone they’re in and they often used an X-zone designation as a selling tool.

But, since 2022, flood zones don’t matter as much. That’s because the National Flood Insurance Program’s Risk Rating 2.0 bases flood insurance premiums on the individual building, not the flood zone.

Criteria include distance from water; type of construction; previous flooding and flood type; replacement cost and height of first floor from base flood elevation.

Risk Rating 2.0 is the biggest pricing structure change since FEMA’s NFIP was established in 1968. Fair Insurance Rates for Monroe (FIRM) estimates that more than 90 percent of Monroe County homeowners will experience flood insurance rate increases under Risk Rating 2.0.

Home elevation

Learn about home elevation and grants

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.

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 resulting in 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 your home
  • Demolish/reconstruct your home
  • Sell your home

Make at least a $100 donation to FIRM KEYS and receive a discount on your residential flood elevation certificate survey. Make at least a $500 donation to FIRM KEYS and receive a discount on your commercial elevation certificate survey.

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Frequently asked questions about flood insurance

What Property Insurance do I need in Florida?

Homeowners The policy known as HO3 insures the described owner-occupied dwelling, private structures in connection with the dwelling, personal property on and away from the premises, and loss of use. Personal liability coverage and medical payments coverage are also...

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How much coverage do I need?

The insurance company and lender, if the property is mortgaged, will usually require that the property be insured at replacement cost. Replacement...

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Coalition for Sustainable Flood Insurance


The Coalition for Sustainable Flood Insurance aggregates significant information on national flood insurance with particular attention to the impact of Risk Rating 2.0 on policy premiums.

About Risk Rating 2.0

Executive Summary

White paper

National policy quote database

The Coalition for Sustainable Flood Insurance

Since April 2013, GNO, Inc. has led the Coalition for Sustainable Flood Insurance (CSFI), a national coalition of approximately 250 organizations across 35 states, formed during the implementation of the Biggert-Waters Act. CSFI was a driving force behind the passage of the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act (HFIAA), compromise legislation that was cosponsored by more than 235 Members of the House and supported by 306 Members, representing the overwhelming support of both caucuses, and passed the Senate with the support of 72 Senators.

There are four primary policy areas CSFI has focused on that will provide for this stronger framework – mitigation, mapping, affordability, and program participation.  CSFI is currently assembled around the implementation of Risk Rating 2.0 and enactment of a long-term NFIP reauthorization.

CSFI is an initiative of Greater New Orleans, Inc.  For more information, please contact Peter Waggonner, GNO, Inc.’s Public Policy Manager, at pwaggonner@gnoinc.org or (504) 527-6980.

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