Updated August 17, 2021
Reading time: 4 minutes
Start by calling your current insurance provider to find out if they offer flood insurance, then compare public and private flood policies to see which suits your needs best.
No matter where you live in Maryland, you face the risk of flooding. The state can experience floods from streams, creeks, and rivers. Maryland also experiences other natural disasters, such as hurricanes and tropical storms, that can create flooding along the many bays and the Atlantic Ocean.
Flood insurance can help you protect your home and family—but it doesn’t replace homeowners insurance. For the best and cheapest Maryland home insurance, compare rates with Insurify. It only takes a few minutes, and you could save hundreds.
Many homeowners mistakenly believe their homeowners insurance will cover flood losses —but it doesn’t.
Standard homeowners coverage doesn’t cover floods. But a flood insurance policy bridges the gap to protect your home and your family when floodwaters rise.
A flood policy isn’t usually required unless you live in a high-risk flood area. In that case, your lender can mandate coverage as a condition of your mortgage.
But there’s no such thing as a flood-free zone. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency ( FEMA ), you may want to get a flood policy even if it isn’t required—more than 25 percent of flood insurance claims come from people who live outside high-risk areas.
Additionally, the Maryland Insurance Administration recommends everyone who owns or rents property buy flood insurance regardless of how low or high the risk of flooding is where you live.
Maryland has many floodplains throughout the state. Knowing your risk of flooding can help you determine if flood insurance is worth it for you.
The best place to start is with FEMA ’s Map Service Center. It’s simple to use—enter a property’s address, and a map showing its flood zone hazard will appear:
Zones B and X (shaded) have moderate flood risk.
Zones C and X (unshaded) have minimal flood risk.
Zones that start with A—A, AE, A1–30, AH, AO, AR, and A99—are designated as areas of high-risk flood hazard.
Zones that start with V—V, VE, and V1–30—are high-risk coastal areas.
Zone D is an area of undetermined risk because a flood hazard analysis hasn’t been done.
You can also ask your insurance agent about your flood zone. Keep in mind that your entire property may not be in a single zone. It’s possible for part of your lot to be in a separate flood zone from your actual house.
According to the Maryland Insurance Administration, standard flood insurance policies are split into two categories: building coverage and contents coverage.
The part of the policy that provides building and property coverage can include:
Structure of the home
It can also pay for debris removal and cleanup.
But be aware of items in basements and crawl spaces—structure coverage is limited in those areas. Talk with your insurance agent about any restrictions.
The policy covers the contents of your home under a separate section. It includes:
Washer and dryer
Other personal property
A National Flood Insurance Program ( NFIP ) policy covers up to $250,000 of flood damage to the home’s structure and up to $100,000 for its contents. Higher policy limits may be available if you buy a policy from a private insurance company.
No single insurance policy can cover everything, and flood insurance typically has several exclusions.
For example, it only covers losses directly caused by flooding. If there is a sewer backup that isn’t a result of flooding, your flood insurance won’t pay for the damage.
A flood policy doesn’t generally cover the following items:
Temporary housing or additional living expenses
Landscaping, septic systems, or fences
Precious metals or stock certificates
Cars or other vehicles
Property stored in basements
If you’re not sure what your policy covers, read it carefully. You can also contact your insurance agent to ask specific questions and make sure you have the coverage you need.
Homeowners sometimes postpone getting the coverage they need because they’re concerned about flood insurance costs. But premiums are more affordable than you might think.
The average homeowner will pay about $500 per year for flood insurance, or roughly $42 per month.
Keep in mind that your flood insurance rates can vary. Insurers use flood insurance rate maps to determine your cost. Other factors that can impact your premiums include:
Type of coverage
Deductible and amount of coverage
Location, age, and design of the home
Your flood risk is a primary factor in how much you pay. For example, if you live in a Special Flood Hazard Area ( SFHA ), your rates will likely be higher.
However, you can lower your premiums by choosing a higher deductible, elevating utilities, installing flood openings, and filling in basements.
Maryland homeowners, condo owners, property owners, and renters can purchase flood insurance coverage. Start by contacting your current insurance provider.
Many insurance companies that sell homeowners policies also sell flood policies. You typically have the choice of a public policy through the NFIP or private coverage from a private insurance company.
FEMA administers the NFIP, and it’s how most flood insurance policies are written. If your community is part of the NFIP, you can buy a public policy through that program.
Visit FloodSmart.gov to find a flood insurance provider in your area and get a flood insurance quote. But don’t wait to buy coverage—most NFIP flood insurance policies have a 30-day waiting period, so your policy won’t go into effect right away.
Private flood insurance is an alternative to the government’s NFIP policies. Insurance from a private company can have a higher policy limit and offer greater coverage. It may also be less expensive in some areas.
The best place to start looking for a private policy is with your current insurance provider.
To have protection in place if a flood destroys your home and belongings, you must have flood insurance. Standard homeowners policies don’t cover flooding.
Policies can be more affordable than you might think. Consider buying a policy from the National Flood Insurance Program ( NFIP ) or a private insurance company. Before committing to a policy, compare coverage options and policy limits to make sure you have enough coverage.
And if it’s been a while since you reviewed your homeowners policy, get an insurance quote to see how much you could save. Use Insurify’s comparison shopping tool to quickly and easily compare insurance options and rates.
Amy is a personal finance and technology writer. With a background in the legal field and a bachelor's degree from Ferris State University, she has a talent for transforming complex topics into content that’s easy to understand. Connect with Amy on LinkedIn.Learn More