Flood Insurance

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Whether you live on the coast, near a river or even in a land-locked town with no body of water nearby, floods can happen just about anywhere it rains. A deluge can turn a stream, pond or city street into a flood risk. (That’s one reason why there are no areas defined as “no risk” on the federal flood insurance map.)

What does flood insurance cover?

Damage from a flood typically is not covered by a standard homeowners insurance policy — or condo or renters insurance, either. However, a separate flood insurance policy can help you get the coverage you want. 

Flood insurance coverage comes in two categories:

  • Building coverage helps pay for damage to the physical structure of your home — the building, the plumbing, the electrical system, heating and cooling, appliances and things that are permanently installed, such as carpeting, bookshelves and kitchen cabinets. Services like debris removal may also be included.

  • Contents coverage can help you replace your belongings — your furniture, smaller appliances, computers, clothing — and provide limited coverage for items such as antiques and artwork. Unless you have contents coverage, your flood-damaged belongings are not covered.   

These two types of flood insurance coverage are purchased separately within your policy and will have separate deductibles.

How much does flood insurance cost?

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) determines rates based on your property’s unique risk level, which is based in part on your property’s characteristics and on how close you live to a river, ocean or anything else considered likely to flood. NFIP, which is part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), has mapped most of the country into high-risk and moderate-to-low-risk zones.

Other details specific to your home are also factored into the cost of flood insurance, such as your home’s:

  • Replacement cost
  • First floor height
  • Number of floors
  • Construction type
  • The deductible and amount of coverage you choose

Why do I need flood insurance?

One reason to consider flood insurance: most homeowners insurance policies don’t cover flood damage, and floods can happen almost anywhere. According to federal emergency risk managers, just one inch of floodwater can cause up to $25,000 in damage.  

Homes and businesses in high-risk flood areas with government-backed mortgages are required to have flood insurance. You can search your property’s address on the FEMA Flood Map Service Center website for flood hazard information. 

Are there different kinds of flood insurance?

Yes. You can get a policy that covers just your home’s structure (building coverage). Or you can get separate policies that cover both your home’s structure and your belongings (contents coverage). Renters can buy a policy that covers only their belongings. Rates will also vary depending on your property’s characteristics and whether you live in a high-risk area or one that’s considered moderate-to-low risk.

Is flood insurance in addition to or a part of my home insurance?

Flood insurance is a separate policy in addition to your homeowners, renters or condo insurance. It’s a kind of catastrophe insurance. Typical home insurance policies cover more everyday hazards, such as theft or damage from a fire, but very few cover flooding.

How do I get flood insurance?

Flood insurance backed by the NFIP is available through Farmers in all 50 states. Your Farmers agent can help you determine your home’s flood risk, walk you through the options and give you a free quote.

Learn From Experience

Have more questions about flood insurance? Keep reading.

Does Home Insurance Cover Water Damage?

Homeowners insurance covers certain types of water damage but not others. It depends on the cause.

Refusing to Abandon Their Homes, Homeowners Rebuild With Flood Risk in Mind

They live in flood zones, and after major flooding from hurricanes and rain events destroyed their homes, these homeowners discovered ways to rebuild and retrofit to help reduce the risk of future flood damage.

How Can Insurance Help Me Prepare for a Flood Disaster?

Some people think they’re not in a flood area, but flooding can happen anywhere — it’s only the degree of risk that varies.