Flood Insurance

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Last Updated: May 24, 2023​

​Flood Insurance ​Facts

1. Most homeowners insurance does NOT cover flood damage.

2. Floods are the most common and costly natural disasters in the United States.

3. Flooding can happen anywhere at any time. Events like storm surges, heavy rainfall, or erosion-related overflows may all result in flooding.

4. Renters should consider contents-only flood insurance to protect the items inside of their unit. The starting cost is only $99.

5. You can purchase flood coverage at any time. There may be a 30-day waiting period after you’ve paid the premium before the policy is effective. Check with your agent for details.

Flood Insurance​ Frequently Asked Questions

  • ​Do I need flood insurance? 

  • What does flood insurance cover?

  • How do I find out if my community participates in the NFIP?

  • How do I purchase flood insurance?

Get Answers to Flood FAQs

​Flood Insurance and You

Most homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage. Over the course of a 30-year mortgage, you have a 26% chance of being flooded at least once. Flood insurance is available to homeowners located in a community participating in the National Flood Insurance Program.

You can usually purchase flood insurance​ through your licensed insurance agent. Contact them first. They may offer:

  • private flood insurance

  • flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) managed by FEMA
If your insurance agent does not sell flood insurance, contact the NFIP Help Center at 1-800-427-4661 or FloodSmart.gov ​​ for a referral to an agent.

Additional Flood Information for Homeowners

  • If you have a federally backed mortgage on a home located in a high-risk area, federal law requires you to purchase flood insurance.

  • If you've received a federal grant for previous flood losses, you must have a flood polic​y to qualify for future aid.

  • To get secured financing to buy, build, or improve structures in Special Flood Hazard Areas, you will be required to purchase flood insurance. Lending institutions that are federally regulated or federally insured must determine if the strucutre is located in a SFHA and must provide written notice requiring flood insurance.
If you are a renter, purchasing a standard renters insurance policy covers your personal belongings from theft, wind, or fire damage. A standard
renters insurance policy typically doesn’t cover food damage.

While your landlord may have flood insurance to cover the building you live in, their insurance will not cover your personal belongings.

Only a separate flood insurance policy can cover items damaged in a flood. Without it, you’d have to replace any damaged clothes, furniture, electronics, or other possessions out-of-pocket. A low-cost renters flood insurance policy can cover thousands of dollars of potential personal property damage.

Contents-only flood insurance can cover up to $100,000. Learn more here.​

You can usually purchase flood insurance​ through your licensed insurance agent. Contact them first. If your insurance agent does not sell flood insurance, contact the NFIP Help Center at 1-800-427-4661 or FloodSmart.gov ​​ for a referral to an agent.

Commercial or business insurance typically does not cover flood damage. However, you can buy coverage from an insurance agent through the National Flood Insurance Program to help protect your business's structure and equipment.

You can usually purchase flood insurance through your licensed insurance agent. Contact them first. If your insurance agent does not sell flood insurance, contact the NFIP Help Center at 1-800-427-4661 or FloodSmart.gov ​​ for a referral to an agent.
Your client may be required to purchase flood insurance. Homeowners insurance policies do not cover flooding. If the house is in a designated Special Flood Hazard Area (high risk), the mortgage lender must, by law, require your client to buy flood insurance as a condition for receiving a Federally backed loan.

But, even if your client is not required by law to buy flood insurance, you should recommend it because your client does not need to live near water to be flooded. Floods are caused by storms, melting snow, hurricanes, and water backup due to inadequate or overloaded drainage systems, dam or levee failure, new construction, etc.

It is not just high-risk areas that are flooded. Nearly 25% of all flood insurance claims come from medium- or low-risk flood areas.

Relying on federal disaster assistance is not the answer, either. Federal disaster assistance is available only if the President declares a disaster.

Even then, disaster assistance is often a loan that must be repaid, with interest, in addition to mortgages, other loans, and credit card debts.

Advise your client that flood insurance pays even if a disaster is not declared.​

View NAR and FEMA toolkits, brochures, and other resources here
As an insurance agent, you commit to protecting your clients every day, rain or shine. FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is equally committed to helping you and consumers understand the devastating financial impacts of flooding and how to safeguard against them.

Flooding is the most common and costly natural disaster in the United States, affecting every region and state. Yet many property owners are unaware of their risk.

By making flood insurance your business, you can better inform your clients of their risks and choices. Further, you’ll build trust and help create more flood resilient communities—all while generating additional income. ​Learn more here.

You, as a lender, must inform loan applicants of any flood insurance requirements for a property. You should also make sure people are aware of any upcoming changes to flood insurance requirements as a result of map changes underway in the community.

It is your role as a lender to enforce the federal flood insurance requirement for properties with federally backed loans. Failure to do so will result in penalties including significant fines.

The NFIP offers training for lenders on a variety of topics. To receive advance notice when new training sessions are scheduled, sign up for NFIP Training Updates .

In cases when a lender's flood zone determination is different from that of an insurance agent, FEMA recommends that the more hazardous flood zone be used for rating, unless the building qualifies for the NFIP Grandfather Rules or is eligible under the 2-Year Preferred Risk Policy (PRP) Extension.​​​

About the National Flood Insurance Program​

The National Flood Insurance Program (N​FIP)  is a federal program enabling property owners in participating communities to purchase insurance protection against losses from flooding. This insurance is designed to provide an insurance alternative to disaster assistance to meet the escalating costs of repairing damage to buildings and their contents caused by floods.

Communities that partici​pate in the NFIP agree to adopt and enforce floodplain management ordinances to reduce further flood damage. In exchange the NFIP makes federally backed flood insurance available to homeowners, renters and business owners in these communities. Communities must apply to the program for citizens to become eligible to buy flood insurance policies. Communities and local officials can join the NFIP in Wisconsin or contact Brian Cunningham , DNR Floodplain Management Policy Coordinator, for ​more information.

In 1968, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program. The NFIP was broadened and modified with the passage of the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973 and other legislative measures. It was further modified by the National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994. The Mitigation Division, a component of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), manages the NFIP and oversees the floodplain management and mapping components of the program.​

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Whether it is auto, health, home, or life insurance, our Consumer Affairs team is here to help you if you have a question or concern about your insurance policy or claim. 

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