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Do I need to purchase flood Insurance if I live on an upper floor of my condominium?


When summer rolls around in Florida, the torrential rains threaten to cause flooding. And this is only the beginning, because then we have hurricane season, with its inherent risk of intense floods. With so many homeowners in Florida living in condominiums, we are often asked if they need flood insurance, especially if they are on the upper floors.

The answer is simple. Yes, a Florida condominium unit owner on the upper floors of a condominium should purchase flood insurance. This is especially true if the condominium building is located near the ocean.

The biggest flood exposure a unit owner has is damage from a major hurricane or tidal surge which undermines the structure of the entire building. So, even thought the water itself may not reach the upper floors, the force of that water could collapse the building, making the unit uninhabitable. This is obviously an unlikely scenario. But that is what insurance is all about—large numbers of people pooling their money to insure an unlikely event.

In this case, if water damages your unit, your flood insurance policy will respond. In addition, your policy will respond if the condo association’s flood master policy is insufficient to cover damage to the common elements and you are assessed for the difference. While these risks are rare, they would be catastrophic if they occurred.

It is recommended that you check with the condominiums property manager to see if there is a Master Flood Insurance Policy in force. The master flood insurance policy will help us know how much coverage can be written on your additions and alterations and on your contents. The property manager should also have the elevation certificate of the building on hand, which is needed to secure an accurate quote on your unit’s flood insurance.

Remember that a Florida Condominium Unit Owner’s (Homeowner’s) Insurance Policy does NOT cover the peril of flood. Many Florida condominium owners have the false impression that they are fully covered for hurricanes by their homeowner’s policy without taking the risk of flooding into account.

Gracey-Backer, Inc., an Insurance Agency in Delray Beach, Florida specializes in all lines of personal insurance, and has since 1925. For a no-obligation quote on homeowner’s insurance, auto insurance, flood insurance, boat insurance, or umbrella insurance policies, please contact us 561-276-6055 or 800-272-6055 and ask for a Personal Lines Account Executive. Or you can email us at insurance@gbifl.com.

David C. Backer


David C. Backer, of Gracey-Backer, Inc., an Insurance Agency in Delray Beach, Florida specializing in All Lines of Malpractice, Professional and Personal Insurance. He can be contacted at 800-272-6055 ext 114, or at david@gbifl.com.

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