Info from FEMA:
Why You Need Flood Insurance
Doesn’t my homeowners insurance policy cover flooding?
No. Flood damage is not typically covered by a homeowners insurance policy.
If my home is flooded, won’t federal disaster assistance pay for my damages?
Not necessarily. Federal disaster assistance is only made available when there is a Presidential Disaster Declaration, and most flood events do not result in a declaration. Federal disaster aid typically comes in the form of low-interest disaster loans that must be repaid, along with whatever loan payment you may already have had for your property. Disaster assistance from FEMA and the U.S. Small Business Administration was not designed to restore your home to its pre-disaster condition or to replace most of your treasured household items.
Flood insurance doesn’t have to be paid back, and it is designed to restore your property to its pre-disaster condition. There’s no better way to protect the life you’ve built than with NFIP flood insurance.
Am I eligible for flood insurance?
To purchase flood insurance from FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), you must live in a community that participates in the program. Find out if your community participates in the NFIP and discover the NFIP resources available in your community.
Can I get flood insurance if I'm renting a property?
Yes, if you live in a community that participates in the NFIP, you can purchase flood insurance to cover the contents of your home or business. Discuss your options with your insurance agent today.
I live in a low-risk flood zone. Do I really need flood insurance?
Yes. Even though flood insurance isn’t federally required, anyone can be financially vulnerable to floods. In fact, policyholders outside of mapped high-risk flood areas file over 20 percent of all NFIP flood insurance claims and receive one-third of federal disaster assistance for flooding. When it’s available, federal disaster assistance is typically a loan you must repay with interest. A Preferred Risk Policy provides both building and contents coverage for properties in moderate- to low-risk areas for one low price. Ask your insurance agent for a quote.
Why do I need flood insurance, even though my community has never been flooded?
Flooding occurs in moderate- to low-risk areas as well as in high-risk areas. Poor drainage systems, rapid accumulation of rainfall, snowmelt and broken water mains can all result in flooding. Properties on a hillside can be damaged by mudflow, a covered peril under the Standard Flood Insurance Policy. In high-risk areas, there is at least a one-in-four chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage. For these reasons, flood insurance is required by law for buildings in high-risk flood areas as a condition of receiving a mortgage from a federally regulated or insured lender.
Why does my mortgage lender require me to buy flood insurance?
Under federal law, the purchase of flood insurance is mandatory for all federal or federally-related financial assistance for the acquisition and/or construction of buildings in high-risk flood areas (Special Flood Hazard Areas or SFHAs).
The amount of flood insurance coverage required by the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, as amended by the National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994, is the least of the following:
The maximum amount of NFIP coverage available for the particular property type;
The outstanding principal balance of the loan; or
The insurable value of the structure.
If the property is not in a high-risk area, but instead in a moderate- to low-risk area, federal law does not require flood insurance, however, a lender can still require it. In fact, over 20 percent of all flood insurance claims come from areas outside of mapped high-risk flood zones. Note that if, during the life of the loan, the maps are revised and the property is now in the high-risk area, your lender will notify you that you must purchase flood insurance.
Is there a low-cost policy for homes in moderate- to low-risk areas?
Yes. A Preferred Risk Policy provides both building and contents coverage for properties in moderate- to low-risk areas for one low price as long as the property meets eligibility requirements based on the building’s entire flood loss history.
I'm not in a high-risk area, but I'd like flood coverage. Is this possible?
Yes! You are eligible to purchase a flood policy with the same coverage you would receive if you lived in a high-risk area. That is, of course, as long as your community participates in the NFIP. A Preferred Risk Policy provides both building and contents coverage for properties in moderate- to low-risk areas for one low price.
After my home was damaged in a flood, I received federal disaster assistance. Do I need to purchase flood insurance now?
Yes. If you live in a high-risk Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) and have received disaster assistance in the form of a federal grant or loan, you must purchase and maintain flood insurance for as long as you live there. If you are a homeowner and you sell the building, you are required to inform the new owner of the necessity to purchase and maintain flood insurance. Failure to maintain flood insurance—for both renters and homeowners—could result in the denial of future federal disaster assistance.
Who do I contact if I want to purchase a flood insurance policy?
The NFIP has an arrangement with private insurance companies to sell and service flood insurance policies. A list of private insurance companies that sell and service NFIP flood insurance policies is available online.
Flood insurance can be purchased through an insurance agent or an insurer participating in the NFIP. If your insurance agent does not sell flood insurance, you can contact the NFIP Help Center at 800-427-4661 for assistance.
What if I want to purchase more insurance than the NFIP offers?
Many private insurance companies offer Excess Flood Protection, which provides limits over and above those of the NFIP. For more information, contact your insurance agent or company.