Understanding Flood Insurance in Pinellas County

Is your house in a flood zone in Pinellas County? Are you moving into a new home in Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Safety Harbor, Dunedin, or Tarpon Springs that is in a flood zone? Do you understand what a flood zone means or the Florida laws and insurance agency policies dealing with flood zones? This article will be helpful for you to get an understanding of floor insurance in Pinellas County.

What is a Flood Zone?

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) defines geographic areas according to varying levels of flood risk into flood zones. These zones are shown on a community’s Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) or Flood Hazard Boundary Map. The severity or type of flooding in the area reflects in each zone.

Find Your Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM)

 Go to the FEMA website and enter your address to determine whether your house is in a designated flood hazard area. Your search will bring up a Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) for the area where your property is located.

What is Flood Insurance?

Flood insurance protects a structure (home or business) and its contents (furniture and items inside) from flood water damage. Most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover damages caused by a flood, so anyone with a home in an area susceptible to flooding should consider purchasing flood insurance.

Why Lenders Require Flood Insurance?

Most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flooding. Flood insurance is a separate insurance product that can protect against flood damage.

What Does Flood Insurance Cover?

A flood insurance policy typically covers your property’s structure of your home and the contents. The structure and contents both have their own deductibles and limits in the policy. The land that your home is on is not covered in flood insurance policies.

Typically the insurance coverage for the structure of your home includes:

  • Foundation
  • Electrical and plumbing
  • Central air systems and furnace
  • Water heaters
  • Refrigerators, cooking stoves, and built-in appliances
  • Permanently installed carpeting over an unfinished floor

The contents inside your home that is covered by a flood insurance policy are:

  • Clothing
  • Furniture
  • Electronics
  • Portable microwaves and portable air conditioners
  • Dishwashers
  • Washers and dryers

Exclusions & Limitations to Flood Insurance Policies

The list of exclusions that apply to flood insurance include:

  • Currency
  • Precious metals
  • Valuable paperwork
  • Most vehicles are not covered

Check with your insurance agent to get specific information about coverage.

Do I Need Flood Insurance?

Whether you need flood insurance depends on the level of risk of a flood where you live, and whether the government or your mortgage lender requires it. FEMA updates the nation’s Flood Insurance Risk Maps (FIRMs) and partitions them into viewable “panels” online. You can check FEMA’s Flood Insurance Rate Map to see what flood zone area your house sits on. Various flood zones are mapped in each panel, and each falls into one of three categorical areas below:

  • High-Risk Areas
  • Moderate-To-Low Risk Areas
  • Undetermined-Risk Areas

Check with your real estate agent, mortgage lender, or insurance agent to get specific information about coverage and what flood zone rating you have on your home.

FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map

FEMA flood maps are used by local governments, federal agencies, lending institutions, real estate brokers, and insurance companies. These rate maps help determine whether homes need flood insurance as well as the premiums set for the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a FEMA program that sponsors flood insurance coverage for U.S. homeowners. Not all flood insurance is obtained through FEMA’s program, but it does account for the vast majority of active policies.

If you live in Pinellas County, you’ve probably experienced flooding and other drainage problems which can result after several inches of rain in a short period of time or after several days of continued rain. As you know, hurricanes, tropical storms, and other threatening weather can present flood hazards to residents due to high tides, storm surges caused by winds, and heavy rainfall.

Flood Zone vs. Evacuation Zone

Flood zones and evacuation zones are different. Flood zones are used for assessing a property’s flood risk, which can be caused by heavy rains as well as by tropical storms and hurricanes. Evacuation zones are based on a property’s vulnerability to storm surge from a hurricane. We all live in a flood zone, which may be high, moderate, or low risk. To find out your flood risk and evacuation zone in Pinellas County, click here.

Know Before You Buy

If you are looking at buying a property, it is a good idea to check out the possible flood hazards before you buy. Most homeowners insurances do not cover flood damage.Consult with your insurance agent about your current policy and discuss if you need additional coverage.


If you are interested in properties that DiGiovanni Homes has built or is building, check below:

DiGiovanni Homes has built properties in Dunedin, Palm Harbor, Clearwater, Clearwater Beach, Tarpon Springs, and Safety Harbor. Here is a list of some of our properties:


Palm Harbor


Clearwater Beach

Tarpon Springs

Safety Harbor

If you’re looking for a new home built by a premier homebuilder with quality finishes in Pinellas County, visit DiGiovanni Homes at Montclair Lake Townhomes and Villas at 2251 Montclair Road in Clearwater, or call Patrick at 727-637-5134.

If you’re ready to buy a new home, check out one of the DiGiovanni Homes available! Our new homes offer spacious, open floor plans in the form of single-family homes, condos, or townhomes in Tampa Bay’s best communities. Visit Digiovannihomes.com today to learn more!