Water-Related News

New flood insurance rates maps going into effect in August

The Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA) updated the Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM) for the coastal areas of Pinellas County. The new map will be effective on Aug. 24, 2021.

Pinellas County Floodplain Management encourages property owners to find out if their flood zone or base flood elevation (BFE) is changing. The public can view the pending maps at bit.ly/PinellasPendingMaps.

If the flood zone or BFE for a property changes, the flood insurance rate and the requirement to carry a flood policy may also change. By law, federally regulated or insured mortgage lenders require flood insurance on buildings that are located in areas at high risk of flooding. Standard homeowners, business owners, and renters’ insurance policies typically don’t cover flood damage; consequently, flood insurance for financial protection is an important consideration for everyone subject to flood risks.

Pinellas County Floodplain Management also encourages property owners to contact their flood insurance agent to determine how the new maps will affect their flood insurance premiums and ensure they secure the lowest available rate. Call the National Flood Insurance Program Help Center at 800-427-4661, visit www.floodsmart.gov, or contact a Flood Insurance Advocate at www.pinellascounty.org/flooding/advocates.htm for more information.