Since standard homeowners insurance doesn't cover flooding, it's important to have protection. In 1968, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to help provide a means for property owners to financially protect themselves. The NFIP offers flood insurance to homeowners, renters, and business owners if their community participates in the NFIP. Participating communities agree to adopt and enforce ordinances that meet or exceed FEMA requirements to reduce the risk of flooding.
Flood Insurance Frequently Asked Questions
Doesn't my homeowners insurance policy cover flooding?
No. Flood damage is not typically covered by a homeowners insurance policy.
If my home is flooded, won't federal disaster assistance pay for my damages?
Not necessarily. Federal disaster assistance typically comes in the form of a low interest loan to help cover flood damage, not compensation for your losses. Even then, those loans are only available if the president formally declares a disaster and must be repaid along with any existing mortgage.
Am I eligible for flood insurance?
You must live in a community that participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to qualify for National Flood Insurance. Find out if your community participates in the NFIP and the kinds of NFIP resources available in your community.
Can I get flood insurance if I'm renting a property?
If you live in a community that participates in the NFIP, you can get flood insurance to cover the contents of your home or business.
I live in a low-risk flood zone. Do I really need flood insurance?
Most likely, yes. It's a good idea to buy flood insurance even if you live in a moderate- or low-risk area. Anyone can be financially vulnerable to floods. People outside of high-risk areas file over 20% of NFIP claims and receive one-third of disaster assistance for flooding. When it's available, disaster assistance is typically a loan you must repay with interest. You may qualify for the Preferred Risk Policy (a lower-cost flood insurance policy) that provides contents coverage beginning at $49 per year and building plus contents coverage beginning at $129 a year.
Why does my mortgage lender require me to buy flood insurance?
Under federal law, the purchase of flood insurance is mandatory for all federal or federally related financial assistance for the acquisition and/or construction of buildings in high-risk flood areas (Special Flood Hazard Areas or SFHAs).
Who do I contact if I want to purchase a flood insurance policy?
The National Flood Insurance Program has an arrangement with private insurance companies to sell and service flood insurance policies. A list of private insurance companies that sell and service NFIP flood insurance policies is available to you. You may also contact your insurance agent or company to find out more about federal flood insurance or find an agent serving your area by filling out the Flood Risk Profile.