Flood Insurance Questions

How much does flood insurance cost?

The average premium for a standard flood policy is $557 per year. But remember, you could qualify for a Preferred Risk Policy and pay as little as $119 per year. (Refer back to "What flood zone am I in?" for average costs per zone.)

Still, it's hard to see the value of a policy until you actually compare it to the price of flood damage. See for yourself:

Flood Damage Repair Estimate

Remove debris $1,500
Replace carpet $15,500
Replace drywall/paint/wallpaper $6,500
Repair cabinets $4,500

Estimated Flood Damage Total $28,000

Average Annual Flood Insurance Premium $557

A disaster loan of $28,000, which is repayable with interest, would cost more than $1,550 a year over 18 years - in addition to your existing mortgage payments. Plus, if you receive disaster assistance, you must purchase and maintain flood insurance to receive further assistance.

What are the coverage limits of a standard flood policy?

The maximum coverage on a standard flood policy is:

Single-family home structure $250,000
Single-family home contents $100,000
Renter contents $100,000

(See how you can increase your coverage under "When is a standard flood policy not enough?")

In the event of damage from flooding, your claim is paid regardless of whether or not a disaster is declared by the President. And a portion of your claim can be paid immediately to speed the recovery process.

What can a flood policy cover?

  • Flood debris cleanup
  • Structural damage (walls, stairways, ceilings, floors)
  • Household appliances damaged by floodwater (refrigerators, air conditioners, heat pumps, circuit breaker boxes, washers/dryers)
  • Wall-to-wall carpeting, tile and other flooring surfaces

What can contents coverage include?

  • Furniture (beds, couches, dressers, entertainment centers, tables)
  • Collectibles, artwork, knickknacks
  • Clothing, shoes, accessories, jewelry

When is buying flood insurance required by law?

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

Also, if you've received a federal grant for previous flood losses, you must have a flood policy to qualify for future aid.

Why is my friend's rate higher than mine?

Lots of factors determine flood insurance rates. These include:

  • Flood zone
  • Amount of coverage
  • Location of structure
  • Age and design of structure
  • Building occupancy
  • Structure elevation if located in a Special Flood Hazard Area