Texas Flood Insurance: Complete Guide for Homeowners in 2024

Texans face flood risks from hurricanes and flash floods, but flood insurance from the NFIP and private insurers can provide crucial financial protection.

Amy Beardsley
Written byAmy Beardsley
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Amy BeardsleyInsurance Writer
  • 3+ years writing about auto, home, and life insurance

  • 7+ years in personal finance and technology

Amy specializes in insurance and technology writing and has a talent for transforming complex topics into easy-to-understand stories.

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Sara Getman
Edited bySara Getman
Sara Getman
Sara GetmanAssociate Editor

Sara Getman is an Associate Editor at Insurify and has been with the company since 2022. Prior to joining Insurify, Sara completed her undergraduate degree in English Literature at Simmons University in Boston. At Simmons, she was the Editor-in-Chief for Sidelines Magazine (a literary and art publication), and wrote creative non-fiction.

Outside of work, Sara is an avid reader, and loves rock climbing, yoga and crocheting.

Updated July 2, 2024

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One in six Texans lives or works in flood-prone areas.[1] And Texas has had nine flooding events that led to more than $1 billion in damage since 1980.[2] But standard homeowners insurance won’t cover flood damage. In some situations, mortgage companies can require you to purchase flood insurance, but only 14% of Texas homeowners have flood insurance.[3]

Flooding in Texas is becoming an expensive and disastrous problem, so purchasing flood insurance is a wise investment. Here’s what you should know about how flood insurance works, what it might cost, whether you really need it, and how to get it.

Quick Facts
  • Texas flood insurance premiums cost an average of $779 per year.[4]

  • “Flash Flood Alley” in Central Texas is a top flash flood-risk region in North America.

  • More than 40% of NFIP claims are made by residents in low- to moderate-risk areas.[5]

Cost of flood insurance in Texas

The average Texas flood insurance rate is $779 per year, which is slightly less than the national annual average of $888. Your cost depends on the location of your home, the building and structure, and whether you live near a coast, river, or lake.

Central Texas, nicknamed “Flash Flood Alley,” is at a high risk of flooding. It’s why counties in the central part of the state, such as Martin, Baylor, and Crockett, have the highest flood insurance coverage costs. The Panhandle area, including Crosby, Carson, Wheeler, and Moore counties, offers some of the cheapest premiums.

The table below shows the annual flood insurance cost for counties in Texas.

CountyAnnual Flood Insurance Cost
Martin County$1,513
Baylor County$1,266
Crockett County$1,256
Llano County$1,037
McMullen County$1,025
Burnet County$1,005
Guadalupe County$1,005
Yoakum County$992
Pecos County $974
Lipscomb County$973
Live Oak County$972
Mason County$952
Val Verde County$939
Calhoun County$917
Kinney County$915
Gonzales County$914
Wise County$910
Cherokee County$905
Real County$901
McCulloch County$893
Aransas County$885
Sutton County$875
Polk County$874
Fannin County$859
Kimble County$859
Brooks County$858
Kerr County$858
Somervell County$853
Palo Pinto County$849
Henderson County$847
San Jacinto County$846
Uvalde County$843
Dallam County$835
Cooke County$832
Upshur County$822
Hopkins County$817
Hudspeth County$814
Jim Hogg County$813
Brewster County$808
Clay County$807
Gregg County$806
Menard County$804
Eastland County$802
Reeves County$801
Bandera County$800
Comal County$800
Hunt County$800
Lavaca County$800
Matagorda County$800
Limestone County$800
Angelina County$799
Jackson County$799
Jones County$799
Kendall County$799
Marion County$799
Nueces County$799
Blanco County$798
Erath County$798
Galveston County$798
Van Zandt County$798
Walker County$798
Dawson County$797
Fayette County$797
Bastrop County$795
Montague County$795
Orange County$795
Goliad County$794
Nolan County$794
Parker County$794
Navarro County$794
Colorado County$790
DeWitt County$787
Grayson County$784
Medina County$784
Wilson County$783
Harris County$781
Cass County$781
Duval County$781
Jack County$781
Caldwell County$780
Jeff Davis County$780
Bee County$779
Brazoria County$779
Hays County$779
Hill County$779
Johnson County$779
Hutchinson County$778
Robertson County$778
Atascosa County$777
Ellis County$777
Brown County$776
Chambers County$776
Hood County$776
Jefferson County$775
Travis County$775
Wood County$775
Austin County$774
Lampasas County$774
Gillespie County$772
Lubbock County$769
TX_Aggregated$769
Madison County$768
Harrison County$765
Bailey County$764
San Saba County$764
Karnes County$759
Montgomery County$759
Dallas County$758
Houston County$754
Jasper County$754
Tyler County$754
Kleberg County$753
San Augustine County$753
Kaufman County$752
Shelby County$751
Archer County$749
Bosque County$749
Fort Bend County$749
Nacogdoches County$749
Morris County$748
Starr County$748
Rains County$745
Anderson County$740
Bowie County$732
Titus County$730
Wharton County$730
Wichita County$730
Smith County$729
Leon County$728
Freestone County$726
Refugio County$725
Bexar County$723
San Patricio County$721
Midland County$720
La Salle County$719
Young County$719
Hardin County$703
McLennan County$703
Willacy County$701
Rockwall County$701
Waller County$700
Zavala County$696
Milam County$690
Washington County$690
Collin County$689
Denton County$689
Grimes County$689
Lamar County$689
Newton County$689
Tarrant County$689
Taylor County$689
Tom Green County$689
Bell County$688
Burleson County$688
Maverick County$688
Williamson County$688
Coleman County$687
Liberty County$687
Haskell County$686
Rusk County$686
Coryell County$685
Brazos County$682
Ector County$680
Runnels County$679
Comanche County$678
Lee County$678
Shackelford County$665
Stephens County$664
Cameron County$647
Randall County$647
Webb County$635
Victoria County$633
Jim Wells County$629
El Paso County$628
Dimmit County$621
Zapata County$612
Hockley County$611
Hidalgo County$605
Presidio County$592
Frio County$587
Howard County$559
Franklin County$556
Hale County$552
Trinity County$547
Potter County$524
Swisher County$513
Panola County$495
Lamb County$493
Collingsworth County$479
Terry County$479
Moore County$470
Wheeler County$460
Wilbarger County$437
Carson County$413
Crosby County$384
Data sourced from FEMA.

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Do you need flood insurance in Texas?

While not always required, you may find flood insurance necessary. Flood insurance in Texas isn’t just a good idea — it’s essential for many property owners in the Lone Star State. If you live in a Special Flood Hazard Area, the federal government can require you to buy flood insurance.

Most of Texas’ major cities are prone to hurricane flooding or are in Flash Flood Alley, and more than 5 million Texans live or work in flood-risk areas throughout the state.

But more than 40% of flood insurance claims come from outside high-risk flood zones. If a flood damages your home and you don’t have flood coverage, you’re responsible for the total cost of repairs and replacements. An inch of water can cause up to $25,000 in damage, according to the Texas Department of Insurance. The department reports that the average flood claim comes in at $115,000.[6]

How to determine your flood risk

FEMA uses Flood Insurance Rate Maps to categorize areas by risk level. A and V zones are riskier, with a 1 in 4 chance of flooding over the course of 30 years. Zones B, C, and X have a moderate-to-low risk. Despite the lower threat, these areas account for more than 20% of flood claims paid by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

The FEMA Flood Map Service Center can aid you in determining whether you’re at risk of flooding. The Texas Water Development Board provides water levels and flood information in your area. Your local community may have a flood warning system, too.

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What flood insurance covers in Texas

Flood insurance is crucial for Texas homeowners because standard homeowners insurance policies don’t cover flood damage. Flood insurance can step in to protect your home and belongings.

Some key items that flood insurance covers include:

  • Structural damage, including walls, staircases, and foundation

  • Personal belongings such as furniture, clothing, and electronics

  • Electrical, plumbing, and HVAC systems

  • Carpeting, built-in cabinets, and other permanent fixtures

  • Built-in appliances like refrigerators, stoves, and dishwashers

  • Detached garages

  • Window blinds and curtains

Remember to read the fine print because policies don’t always include personal belongings. Sometimes, personal property is separate from building coverage. Check with your insurance agent to determine if you need to pay extra to add personal property coverage.

What flood insurance doesn’t cover

Flood insurance doesn’t cover everything. It’s better to find out what your policy might exclude before facing a disaster.

Here are a few common items that flood insurance policies typically don’t reimburse you for, even if a flood causes the damage:

  • Temporary housing, like hotel or rental costs, while waiting for home repairs

  • High-value items like jewelry, art, or antique collections

  • Cash, stock certificates, and other financial paperwork or currency

  • Personal items that you stored in your basement

  • Outdoor property like landscaping, pools, fences, and decks

  • Septic system repairs or replacements

  • Vehicle damage or replacement parts

  • Income you lose due to business interruption after a flood

How to buy flood insurance in Texas

To buy flood insurance in Texas, you have two main options: private insurers and the NFIP. While NFIP coverage is the most common choice, it’s worth exploring your current homeowners insurance company first.[7]

Private flood insurance policies offer higher coverage limits — often up to $1 million or more. Additionally, you may be able to save on premiums by bundling your homeowners and flood insurance with the same company.

If your current insurer doesn’t offer flood coverage, you can contact the NFIP to find a flood insurance agent. But keep in mind that NFIP policies have lower coverage limits. The most you can get is $250,000 for your home and $100,000 for its contents.

Another crucial factor to consider is the waiting period. NFIP policies have a 30-day waiting period before coverage begins, while private flood insurance policies have a maximum waiting period of 15 days. Depending on the company, your policy might even kick in right away.[8]

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Tips for filing a flood insurance claim in Texas

If your home has flood damage, knowing the steps to file a flood insurance claim in Texas is crucial. Here are some essential tips to ensure the process goes smoothly:

  1. Contact your insurance company or the NFIP at 1 (877) 336-2627.

  2. Take photos or videos of the destruction of your home and personal belongings.

  3. Start cleaning up, but don’t discard any items until your adjuster inspects them (unless they pose a health hazard or the law requires it).

  4. If your policy covers personal belongings, list damaged or destroyed personal property, including receipts.

  5. Check your claim for errors or missed damages — you have only 60 days to add to your claim.

You’ll typically hear from your adjuster within a day or two after starting the claim. How long it takes to process your claim can depend on how severe the flooding is and the number of affected homes in your area.

Texas flood insurance FAQs

To help with the many questions that arise when buying Texas flood insurance, here’s some additional information that can point you toward the right policy for your situation.

  • What is the average cost of flood insurance in Texas?

    The average cost of flood insurance in Texas is $779 per year for a policy through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Texas premiums are marginally cheaper than the national average cost of $888.[4]

  • Is flood insurance worth it in Texas?

    Generally, yes. Buying flood insurance in Texas is usually a good idea. Large parts of the state — including nearly every major city and area in “Flash Flood Alley” — are vulnerable to flooding, and a regular homeowners or renters policy won’t cover flood damage.

  • What does Texas flood insurance cover?

    Texas flood policies cover damage to your home due to flooding, including carpeting, appliances, detached garages, and plumbing and electrical systems. Some policies also cover personal belongings such as furniture, clothing, and electronics.

  • What is the difference between FEMA and NFIP?

    The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) handles disaster response and recovery. FEMA oversees the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), the leading flood insurer in the U.S.

Sources

  1. Texas water Development Board. "2024 State Flood Plan."
  2. NOAA. "Texas."
  3. Texas.gov. "Only 14% of Texas homeowners have a flood policy."
  4. FEMA.gov. "Cost of Flood Insurance for Single-Family Homes under NFIP’s Pricing Approach."
  5. FEMA.gov. "Myths and Facts About Flood Insurance."
  6. Texas.gov. "Who should have flood insurance?."
  7. Insurance Information Institute. "Homeowners Perception of Weather Risks."
  8. National Flood Insurance. "Flood Insurance Options."
Amy Beardsley
Amy BeardsleyInsurance Writer

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.

Sara Getman
Edited bySara GetmanAssociate Editor
Sara Getman
Sara GetmanAssociate Editor

Sara Getman is an Associate Editor at Insurify and has been with the company since 2022. Prior to joining Insurify, Sara completed her undergraduate degree in English Literature at Simmons University in Boston. At Simmons, she was the Editor-in-Chief for Sidelines Magazine (a literary and art publication), and wrote creative non-fiction.

Outside of work, Sara is an avid reader, and loves rock climbing, yoga and crocheting.

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