Flood damage is not covered by a standard homeowners policy. Protection is available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). In order to qualify for NFIP coverage, the home or business must be in a community that has joined the NFIP and agreed to enforce sound floodplain management standards. Click here to find out if your community participates. If your community does not participate, you can find coverage through surplus lines markets.
How Much Does it Cost?
NFIP flood insurance is purchased through private insurance agents. Rates are set nationally and do not differ from company to company or agent to agent. These rates depend on many factors, including the date and type of construction of your home, your building's level of flood risk and how many feet are you above the flood zone. Click here for a list of insurance companies that sell NFIP flood insurance policies.
NFIP policies typically cover the building itself, but, for an additional premium, you can buy coverage for the contents. Things that are permanently fastened to the house such as light fixtures, carpets and cabinets are considered part of the building. Appliances could fall into the building coverage or they could be considered personal property. If you are only buying building coverage, be sure to ask if the appliances are covered under that policy.
It's important to note that flood insurance does not go into effect immediately. Most policies have a 30-day waiting period, so plan accordingly if you are looking to purchase flood insurance.
When Insurance is Required
In high-risk areas, there is at least a 1 in 4 chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage. For these reasons, flood insurance is required by law for buildings in high-risk flood areas as a condition of receiving a mortgage from a federally regulated or insured lender. If you're not sure which area your property is in, take your Risk Profile to learn more.
Residents of Moderate-to-Low Risk Areas
Homes and businesses located in moderate-to-low risk areas that have mortgages from federally regulated or insured lenders are typically not required to have flood insurance. However, flood insurance is highly recommended because 25% of all flood claims occur in moderate-to-low risk flood areas.
A lender can require flood insurance, even if it is not federally required.