How can I buy FEMA flood insurance?
FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is sold by insurance companies across the country. Ask your insurance company or go to FloodSmart.gov to learn more.
Have you heard that you can get flood insurance through FEMA? It’s true: the Federal Emergency Management Agency subsidizes flood insurance through a program called the National Flood Insurance Program ( NFIP ). NFIP policies are available to everyone, regardless of flood risk.
Even though the federal government sets rates and pays out flood insurance claims, FEMA doesn’t sell insurance. Instead, private insurance companies in every state and territory sell NFIP policies. You can learn more about FEMA flood insurance at FloodSmart.gov, then find a local insurance agent or call your insurance company to buy a policy for your property.
All homeowners should consider buying a flood insurance policy. Floods can happen to anyone, and even an inch of water can cause flood damage in the tens of thousands of dollars. And not to be a downer, but the effects of climate change are making heavy rainfall, and thus flooding, a more frequent and widespread problem.
Read on for all the information you need about FEMA ’s National Flood Insurance Program, including how to buy a policy, what it covers, and what to expect for flood insurance premiums.
How FEMA Flood Insurance Works
You can find all the information you need about FEMA flood insurance at FloodSmart.gov. Insurance providers can also help you through the flood insurance process, so if you have a strong relationship with your insurance agent, give them a call to talk about flood insurance.
Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program in 1968. It was established to subsidize flood insurance coverage to guarantee that high-risk households could access affordable flood insurance. Anyone can buy an NFIP policy. It now serves five million property owners and renters every year, and that number is climbing.
As of October 2021, FEMA determines flood insurance premiums with a system called Risk Rating 2.0, which is designed to be fairer than ever. The higher your flood risk and more valuable your property, the higher your premium. But don’t get too worried about pricing: flood insurance rates are lowest in high-risk states like Florida and Louisiana, and the rate hikes you’ve heard about with Flood Risk 2.0 are generally overblown.
See More: Private Flood Insurance vs. FEMA
FEMA Flood Insurance Rates
Here’s one thing that takes some of the stress out of buying FEMA flood insurance: even though practically every insurance company sells NFIP policies, the rates are set by FEMA with flood maps. So no matter the insurer you’re working with, you’ll get the same rate.
Flood zones are labeled with a code that estimates the flood risk and types of possible flood damage. Your flood zone, your property’s value, its elevation, and several other factors set your flood insurance premium. If your city or county participates in FEMA ’s community rating system, policyholders will have the advantage of some extra savings.
The average annual premium for flood insurance is a bit less than $1,000, or $80 per month. But rates can vary highly based on location and property value.
What Does FEMA Flood Insurance Cover?
There are two components of flood insurance coverage: building coverage and personal property coverage.
Building coverage covers flood damage to the walls, floors, carpets, built-in appliances, windows, and other components of the property that are considered part of the building itself. Coverage limits for building coverage on NFIP policies are generally capped at $250,000.
Personal property coverage will protect the stuff inside your house that’s damaged by a flood, including furniture, clothing, electronics, rugs, and other items. FEMA flood insurance caps personal property coverage at $100,000.
Is FEMA Flood Insurance Required?
Federal flood insurance is not required by the federal government unless you live in a Special Flood Hazard Area and your mortgage is backed by the federal government. Ask your mortgage lender if you think flood insurance might be required for your property. You can access flood insurance rate maps (FIRMs) online to see if you’re in a Special Flood Hazard Zone.
Where to Find FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps
The Flood Map Service Center on the FEMA website is the best way to browse rate maps and determine the risk area of your property. You can also ask your insurance agent to get you a quote from FEMA.
Still Have Questions About FEMA Flood Insurance?
Don’t miss out on flood insurance. Almost everyone stands a significant chance of facing a flood over a 30-year mortgage. FEMA flood insurance protects everyone at subsidized rates and tries to be fair and equitable based on risk and property value.