How Much Does Flood Insurance Cost?

Federal flood insurance costs an average of $888 annually, but it depends on your location’s risk level.

Cassie Sheets
Written byCassie Sheets
Cassie Sheets
Cassie SheetsData Journalist
  • 9 years writing data-driven content

  • Lifestyle contributor to 30+ local news sites

Cassie Sheets has a background in home and garden and real estate content. At Insurify, she translates industry jargon into insights that empower insurance buyers.

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Katie Powers
Edited byKatie Powers
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Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

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Updated January 5, 2024

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Most standard home insurance policies don’t cover flood damage. Instead, you can purchase a separate flood insurance policy from a private insurer or the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) covers homeowners, renters, and businesses.

Of the 22% of homeowners who reported they were at risk of a flood in a 2023 consumer survey from the Insurance Information Institute and Munich RE, 78% purchased flood insurance. Thirty-five percent purchased coverage from a private insurer, and 43% bought through the NFIP.[1]

Read on to learn more about flood insurance coverage and determine the best policy for you.

Quick Facts
  • The NFIP has federal backing, but a network of more than 50 private insurers write the policies.[2]

  • Property owners can only purchase dwelling coverage of up to $250,000 through the NFIP, but private companies offer higher policy limits.[3]

  • Compared to other natural disasters in the U.S., flooding is the most common and causes the most expensive damage.[4]

Average cost of flood insurance

The average cost of FEMA’s NFIP flood insurance is $888 per year, but rates vary widely depending on your home’s location. Coastal areas with a higher flood risk level, like Connecticut, pay more than average. Landlocked states, like Utah, often pay less.

In addition to flood risk level, FEMA factors in your home’s elevation and distance from flooding sources. Flood vents or other flood-proofing features, foundation type, building replacement costs, and levee performance can also influence your rate.

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Average cost of flood insurance by state

Flood rates vary based on your area’s risk level and local repair costs. Washington, D.C., residents pay the least for flood coverage, at an average of $404 annually. Connecticut has the highest average annual rate, at $1,590.

The average cost of risk-based flood insurance is $1,808 per year. However, FEMA limits yearly premium increases and offers discounts for some policyholders, lowering the average cost to $888.[5]

Here’s the average annual cost of flood insurance in every state.

StateAverage Annual Cost
Alabama$927
Alaska$454
Arizona$825
Arkansas$849
California$901
Colorado$860
Connecticut$1,590
Delaware$874
Florida$958
Georgia$791
Hawaii$1,437
Idaho$862
Illinois$1,039
Indiana$917
Iowa$867
Kansas$870
Kentucky$1,060
Louisiana$813
Maine$953
Maryland$608
Massachusetts$1,269
Michigan$811
Minnesota$943
Mississippi$858
Missouri$978
Montana$899
Nebraska$824
Nevada$715
New Hampshire$1,216
New Jersey$1,081
New Mexico$891
New York$1,184
North Carolina$791
North Dakota$798
Ohio$883
Oklahoma$876
Oregon$936
Pennsylvania$1,075
Rhode Island$1,062
South Carolina$798
South Dakota$937
Tennessee$887
Texas$776
Utah$645
Vermont$1,197
Virginia$743
Washington$918
Washington, D.C.$404
West Virginia$1,133
Wisconsin$878
Wyoming$907

States with the most expensive flood insurance

The NFIP’s Risk Rating 2.0 went into effect in 2021. Under the new rating, flood insurance premiums depend more on risk levels for individual properties than on general categories by location and property type. However, flood-prone areas with a high concentration of policies generally have more filed claims, which still increases rates in those states.

FEMA breaks down perils into five types of flood risk: inland flooding, storm surges, tsunamis, Great Lakes losses, and coastal erosion.[6]

Inland flooding is a risk, no matter your location. If a state has a specific flood risk in addition to inland flooding, that factor is in the table below. Here are the states with the most expensive NFIP flood insurance.

StateAverage Annual CostHighest Risk
Connecticut$1,590Storm surge
Hawaii$1,437Tsunami
Massachusetts$1,269Storm surge
New Hampshire$1,216Storm surge
Vermont$1,197Inland flooding

States with the cheapest flood insurance

People living in states with fewer flood risks typically pay less for coverage. Washington, D.C., residents pay the least for flood insurance, with an average annual rate of $404. A higher percentage of D.C. residents living in apartments above ground level may also reduce the chances of flood damage in the city.

Here are the cheapest places to buy NFIP flood insurance.

StateAverage Annual CostHighest Risk
Washington, D.C.$404Inland flooding
Alaska$454Tsunami
Maryland$608Storm surge
Utah$645Inland flooding
Nevada$715Inland flooding

What a National Flood Insurance Program policy covers

Flood insurance offers financial protection from unexpected expenses. A single inch of pooled water in a 1,000-square-foot home can cause approximately $11,000 worth of damage, according to FEMA. NFIP flood insurance policies cover water damage to buildings and personal property.

Flood insurance can cover the following:[7]

  • Building foundations

  • Detached garages

  • Electrical and plumbing systems

  • Carpeting

  • Central air conditioning, furnaces, and water heaters

  • Appliances, including refrigerators, stoves, washers, dryers, and dishwashers

  • Food freezers and spoiled food in them

  • Window blinds

  • Personal belongings, such as clothing, furniture, artwork, and electronics

  • Permanently installed paneling, bookcases, cabinets, and wallboard

  • Debris removal

So if your basement flooded, an NFIP policy would pay to replace a damaged water heater or personal property you kept in storage. The NFIP would also cover replacement carpeting.

What it doesn’t cover

NFIP policies don’t cover all flood-related damages. For example, NFIP coverage won’t pay for remediation if a flood results in mold or mildew that you could’ve prevented.

The federally backed flood insurance won’t cover the following:

  • Moisture, mildew, or mold damage that the property owner could’ve avoided

  • Currency, precious metals, or valuable papers

  • Property outside the insured building, like pools, patios, fences, or decks

  • Temporary living expenses

  • Financial losses caused by business interruption

  • Car damages

Private flood insurance

The NFIP isn’t your only option. Private insurance companies offer flood insurance policies, too. If you want more policy flexibility or higher coverage limits, it’s worth looking into buying coverage directly from a private insurer.

Private companies can offer higher dwelling coverage limits. NFIP policies max out at $250,000, but private insurers offer limits of up to $500,000 or more depending on your flood risk. NFIP policies cover personal property up to $100,000, but private insurers can pay for up to $250,000.

After you purchase your policy, the NFIP has a 30-day waiting period before your coverage is active. Some private insurers offer shorter wait times if you need coverage as soon as possible.

Good to Know

The cost of flood insurance with a private company depends on your flood zone risk level, elevation, proximity to bodies of water, and coverage limits. Comparing NFIP rates to private companies’ rates can help you get the coverage you need at the best possible price.

Flood insurance companies to consider

Numerous private companies provide flood insurance coverage. If you need higher coverage limits with a shorter waiting period or just want to compare rates on the private market, consider these insurance companies:

  • Neptune Flood: Provides up to $4 million in dwelling coverage and $500,000 in contents coverage and pays for some claims the NFIP won’t cover, including temporary living expenses and pool repair.

  • Aon Edge: Sells residential policies to fulfill mandatory purchase requirements, as well as excess flood insurance that provides up to $5 million of combined building and contents coverage.

  • The Flood Insurance Agency’s Private Market Flood: Offers multi-year policies and additional supplemental loss payment through FloodFLEX. The FloodReady endorsement pays for repairs with FEMA-approved flood damage-resistant materials, even if the cost exceeds the value of the original damaged materials.

  • Acrisure: Partners with private flood insurance companies to match you to insurers that offer personalized coverage solutions.

How to buy flood insurance

Purchasing flood insurance can offer financial protection from unexpected events. Plus, your mortgage lender might require it, especially if you live in a high-risk flood zone.

Take the following steps to purchase coverage through the NFIP:

  1. Determine if your county participates by checking FEMA’s NFIP database.

  2. Find an NFIP partner insurance provider in your state.

  3. Select and purchase your coverage.

  4. Wait 30 days for your policy to go into effect.

Alternatively, you could research private flood insurance companies, get quotes from a few agents, and select the coverage that best fits your needs.

Factors that affect flood insurance rates

The NFIP and private insurers determine flood insurance rates using a number of factors, including:

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/2c500fdca3/accidental-discharge-of-water.svg

    Flood risk

    Insurers consider factors like heavy rains, proximity to bodies of water, and property elevation to determine the type and level of flood risk. Generally, the higher the risk, the higher your premium.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/100x100/4ec24627d2/flood-coverage.svg

    Policy type

    You can find a policy through NFIP or a private insurer. You can often bundle a private policy with other insurance coverages, which could lower your premium.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/100x100/c922a01b77/house.svg

    Home or building specifics

    Characteristics that insurers consider include occupancy, foundation type, number of floors, first-floor elevation, unit location, masonry type, and presence of flood openings.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/100x100/4d03c561b5/declaration-page.svg

    Coverage types and limits

    If you choose a higher policy limit, your insurer must cover more damages. More coverage often means a higher premium.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/c822f20cb3/billing-related.svg

    Deductible

    You’re responsible for paying your deductible before your insurance company covers damages. A higher deductible means insurers can offer a lower premium because their risk of loss is lower.

  • illustration card https://a.storyblok.com/f/162273/x/fa11c1fe75/comparison-website.svg

    Insurance company

    Rates vary by insurer depending on overhead costs, risk appetite, and policies offered.

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How to save on flood insurance

You have a few ways to try to reduce your premium and save money on flood insurance. Installing flood openings, or floor vents, can prevent water from building up under your foundation, reducing your home’s flood risk. You can also fill in your basement to reduce your premium — especially in high-risk zones.

Elevating your property (including adding a new upper story) can reduce your premium, as can raising your HVAC, electric panel, and water heater off the ground. If you can’t take steps to flood-proof your property, increasing your deductible is another way to lower your rate.

Flood insurance cost FAQs

The following information should help answer your remaining questions about the cost of flood insurance.

  • Does flood insurance cover sewer backup?

    It depends. If a flood directly results in damages from a sewer backup, your flood insurance does cover it. Flood insurance won’t cover damages if the sewer backup occurs for another reason.

  • Is flood insurance tax-deductible?

    No. Your flood insurance typically isn’t tax-deductible unless you use a portion or all of your home for business.

  • Does renters insurance cover flood damage?

  • Who needs flood insurance?

    You should consider buying flood insurance if you live in an area at risk of flooding. Legally, you may need to purchase a flood insurance policy if you have a federally backed loan or live in a high-risk flood zone. If you have a mortgage, your lender may also require you to purchase flood insurance.

Sources

  1. Insurance Information Institute and Munich RE. "Homeowners Perception of Weather Risks 2023Q2 Consumer Survey."
  2. FEMA. "Flood Insurance."
  3. FEMA. "NFIP Coverage Limits."
  4. FEMA. "Flood Insurance and the NFIP."
  5. FEMA. "NFIP's Pricing Approach."
  6. National Flood Insurance Program. "Risk Rating 2.0 Methodology and Data Sources."
  7. FEMA. "National Flood Insurance Program Summary of Coverage."
Cassie Sheets
Cassie SheetsData Journalist

Cassie Sheets has more than nine years of experience creating compelling content for clients, brands, and local news sites. She started her career at Movoto Real Estate, where she transformed dry data into interesting insights for potential homebuyers. She’s since covered a wide range of topics, from pop culture news to home and garden trends.

Before joining Insurify, Cassie wrote engaging landing pages and blog posts for medical practices at MyAdvice. Now, she uses her knack for diving into the latest data and pulling out key details to empower insurance buyers.

Cassie holds a BFA in Creative Writing from Columbia College Chicago. In her free time, you can find her exploring the city with her dog, trying not to fall over in yoga classes, and petting cats at the shelter.

Katie Powers
Edited byKatie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
Photo of an Insurify author
Katie PowersAuto and Life Insurance Editor
  • Licensed auto and home insurance agent

  • 3+ years experience in insurance and personal finance editing

Katie uses her knowledge and expertise as a licensed property and casualty agent in Massachusetts to help readers understand the complexities of insurance shopping.

Featured in

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Compare Home Insurance Quotes Instantly

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