Flood Insurance

Insure the Risk

Areas in the SFHA have at least a one in four chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage.  As a result, homeowners and businesses owners inside these areas are generally required by their lender to purchase flood insurance if they have a government-backed loan on the structure, but those outside this area are also encouraged to buy flood insurance.  On average, about 40% of NFIP flood insurance claims come from outside SFHAs.  That is because flooding can happen anywhere. Remember, FEMA only studies and maps flood risks related to riverine flooding.  Other sources of flooding in the community could include sinkholes, local drainage issues, undersized storm infrastructure, and pipes, inlets, and ditches that could clog during heavy rains.  Accessory structures such as sheds, trailers, mechanical or electrical equipment that are not properly anchored could be washed away and carried downstream during heavy flooding causing further damage and destruction. Please review ALL sources of flood risk when deciding to purchase flood insurance.

Insurance Myths

MYTH:   You can’t buy flood insurance if you are not located in a high-risk flood area.
FACT:  Any structure owner in an NFIP participating community can purchase flood insurance.

MYTH:  Flood insurance premiums increase if you have a claim.
FACT:  It doesn’t matter how many times your home, apartment or business has been flooded.  You are still eligible to purchase flood insurance provided your community participates in the NFIP and your policy remains the same, regardless of number of claims and cannot be cancelled for repeat losses.

MYTH:  Homeowner’s insurance policies cover flooding.
FACT:  Homeowner’s policies do not cover flooding.

MYTH:  Flood insurance is only available for homeowners.
FACT:  Flood insurance is available to protect homes, condominiums, apartments and non-residential buildings, including commercial structures. A maximum of $250,000 of building coverage is available for single-family residential buildings; $250,000 per unit for multi-family residences. The limit for contents coverage on all residential buildings is $100,000, which is also available to renters. Commercial structures can be insured to a limit of $500,000 for the building and $500,000 for the contents.

MYTH:  Federal disaster assistance will pay for flood damage.
FACT:  Typically disaster assistance requires a Presential declaration. This happens in less than 50 percent of flooding incidents. The main form of federal assistance after a federally declared disaster is a loan that must be repaid with interest and the average award is about $5,000.  So it is not enough for you to repair and re-build your home. The average annual premium for an NFIP policy is about $700, which is less than the annual interest on most low-interest disaster loans. If you are uninsured and receive federal disaster assistance after a flood you must purchase flood insurance to receive disaster relief in the future.

Flood Insurance Resources

FloodSmart.gov  Official site of the National Flood Insurance Program to find information on:  Buying a Policy; Renewing a Policy; Flood Risks & Costs; Before & After a Flood; and Flood Zones & Maps.

NFIP Flood Insurance Manual

NFIP Flood Insurance Claims Handbook

NFIP Summary of Coverage

How can I pay less for flood insurance?

Find a flood insurance provider

Risk Rating 2.0: Equity in Action/FEMA.gov