Flood insurance in Georgia: Average costs & coverage options

Learn about Georgia flood insurance costs, options, and coverage requirements and get protected today.

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Pat HowardManaging Editor & Licensed Home Insurance ExpertPat Howard is a managing editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where he specializes in homeowners insurance. His work and expertise has been featured in MarketWatch, Real Simple, Fox Business, VentureBeat, This Old House, Investopedia, Fatherly, Lifehacker, Better Homes & Garden, Property Casualty 360, and elsewhere.

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Jennifer GimbelJennifer GimbelSenior Managing Editor & Home Insurance ExpertJennifer Gimbel is a senior managing editor and home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our homeowners insurance coverage. Previously, she was the managing editor at Finder.com and a content strategist at Babble.com.
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Ian Bloom, CFP®, RLP®Ian Bloom, CFP®, RLP®Certified Financial PlannerIan Bloom, CFP®, RLP®, is a certified financial planner and a member of the Financial Review Council at Policygenius. Previously, he was a financial advisor at MetLife and MassMutual.

Published|5 min read

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Georgia flood insurance: By the numbers

  • Georgia has over 400,000 properties with a greater than 26% chance of severe flooding over the next 30 years, yet only 18% are protected with flood insurance. 

  • The average cost of flood insurance in Georgia is $791 per year when purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

  • But under the NFIP’s new method for determining the cost of flood insurance, the average cost of flood insurance in Georgia will eventually increase to $1,332 per year — a 68% increase over what residents are currently paying.

  • While flood insurance is typically only required by mortgage lenders if you live in a high-risk flood zone, roughly 36% of all NFIP flood damage claims in Georgia come from households with a minimal-to-moderate risk of flooding.

Flooding is the most common and costly natural disaster in the country, affecting 99% of U.S. counties. It’s also estimated that roughly twice as many properties in the U.S. are at risk of flood damage than previously thought. [1]  

This includes Georgia, where roughly 82% of properties with an extreme risk of flooding do not have flood insurance coverage. [2] Because homeowners insurance doesn’t cover water damage caused by flooding, you’ll want to consider getting a separate flood insurance policy — regardless of whether your home is in a high-risk flood zone or not.

Compare flood insurance rates in Georgia

Do you need flood insurance in Georgia?

In Georgia, you’re not legally required to purchase flood insurance. But like with homeowners insurance, your mortgage lender can require you to purchase it before offering you a loan. Lenders typically only require this coverage if you live in a high-risk flood zone according to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood maps. 

While a relatively small portion of Georgia consists of coastline, it has the sixth highest number of homes in high-risk flood zones of any U.S. state. [3] Also known as Special Flood Hazards Areas (SFHAs) on FEMA flood maps, these areas have a greater than 26% chance of extreme flooding over the course of a 30-year mortgage. 

But despite having fewer SFHAs, the northern part of Georgia — not the coastline — is actually the most flood-prone area of the state. [4] Given that greater than 1 in 3 flood damage claims are made by homeowners in low- to moderate-risk flood zones, Georgia homeowners will want to consider flood insurance regardless of where they live

How much is flood insurance in Georgia?

The average cost of flood insurance in Georgia is $791 per year or $66 per month through the National Flood Insurance Program, which is about 12% cheaper than the national average of $888 per year. [5] However, your own flood insurance rates could be significantly higher or lower than the average in Georgia depending on your home’s elevation, size, and overall risk of being flooded.

Looking at the 50 Georgia counties with the most NFIP policyholders, Fannin County’s $1,201 annual flood insurance premium was the most expensive on average. Located in the northernmost part of Georgia, Fannin County has several large lakes and river systems that likely contribute to its higher-than-average premiums. Under Risk Rating 2.0, FEMA's new method for more accurately determining flood insurance premiums, rates in Fannin County are expected to increase 153% once they reach their full risk-based cost.

On the opposite end of the spectrum Lowndes County in South Georgia had the cheapest rates in our analysis, with homeowners paying an average of $638 each year for flood insurance. Under FEMA's new rating system, flood insurance rates in Lowndes County are expected to increase 55% to $992 to per year once insured properties reach their full risk-based cost.

County

Average annual cost

Average risk-based cost

Appling County

$564

$701

Atkinson County

$931

$1,233

Bacon County

$931

$1,233

Baker County

$931

$1,233

Baldwin County

$892

$1,843

Banks County

$931

$1,233

Barrow County

$844

$1,429

Bartow County

$778

$1,795

Ben Hill County

$782

$914

Berrien County

$599

$669

Bibb County

$670

$993

Bleckley County

$714

$804

Brantley County

$928

$1,060

Brooks County

$1,192

$1,641

Bryan County

$749

$1,363

Bulloch County

$823

$1,154

Burke County

$595

$687

Butts County

$987

$2,367

Calhoun County

$931

$1,233

Camden County

$712

$948

Candler County

$972

$1,231

Carroll County

$955

$1,176

Catoosa County

$850

$1,347

Charlton County

$675

$986

Chatham County

$773

$1,347

Chattooga County

$996

$1,762

Cherokee County

$731

$1,365

Clarke County

$755

$1,779

Clay County

$931

$1,233

Clayton County

$729

$1,050

Clinch County

$865

$979

Cobb County

$778

$1,320

Coffee County

$733

$1,007

Colquitt County

$757

$959

Columbia County

$645

$1,088

Cook County

$646

$765

Coweta County

$667

$953

Crawford County

$931

$1,233

Crisp County

$1,218

$2,242

Dade County

$921

$1,198

Dawson County

$774

$1,493

Decatur County

$1,060

$2,376

Dekalb County

$829

$1,169

Dodge County

$974

$1,742

Dooly County

$1,010

$2,349

Dougherty County

$877

$1,312

Douglas County

$630

$856

Early County

$1,328

$1,578

Echols County

$931

$1,233

Effingham County

$666

$836

Elbert County

$931

$1,233

Emanuel County

$1,029

$1,438

Evans County

$828

$900

Fannin County

$1,201

$3,044

Fayette County

$661

$961

Floyd County

$903

$1,459

Forsyth County

$775

$1,401

Franklin County

$685

$3,858

Fulton County

$818

$1,311

Gilmer County

$1,286

$3,053

Glynn County

$832

$1,438

Gordon County

$1,160

$1,449

Grady County

$826

$1,148

Greene County

$791

$2,050

Gwinnett County

$729

$1,176

Habersham County

$1,238

$3,723

Hall County

$780

$1,576

Hancock County

$1,296

$2,194

Haralson County

$931

$1,233

Harris County

$740

$1,100

Hart County

$635

$1,072

Heard County

$931

$1,233

Henry County

$709

$1,068

Houston County

$687

$909

Irwin County

$931

$1,233

Jackson County

$627

$1,032

Jasper County

$1,007

$2,185

Jeff Davis County

$497

$527

Jefferson County

$931

$1,233

Jenkins County

$1,020

$1,371

Jones County

$763

$1,070

Lamar County

$567

$1,131

Lanier County

$587

$587

Laurens County

$776

$1,195

Lee County

$954

$2,871

Liberty County

$749

$1,333

Lincoln County

$931

$1,233

Long County

$838

$1,025

Lowndes County

$638

$992

Lumpkin County

$1,146

$3,216

Macon County

$611

$1,154

Madison County

$773

$2,788

Mcduffie County

$780

$1,292

Mcintosh County

$774

$1,412

Meriwether County

$1,003

$1,358

Miller County

$1,088

$1,357

Mitchell County

$824

$1,581

Monroe County

$1,102

$2,287

Montgomery County

$1,336

$1,964

Morgan County

$1,217

$2,019

Murray County

$801

$1,436

Muscogee County

$753

$1,048

Newton County

$924

$1,901

Oconee County

$827

$1,872

Oglethorpe County

$931

$1,233

Paulding County

$696

$1,255

Peach County

$595

$694

Pickens County

$857

$1,398

Pierce County

$870

$1,232

Pike County

$835

$2,048

Polk County

$1,188

$1,604

Pulaski County

$846

$1,541

Putnam County

$1,182

$2,179

Quitman County

$931

$1,233

Rabun County

$1,253

$2,767

Randolph County

$931

$1,233

Richmond County

$678

$1,023

Rockdale County

$723

$1,099

Screven County

$779

$1,017

Seminole County

$934

$1,246

Spalding County

$685

$906

Stephens County

$923

$1,047

Sumter County

$1,283

$2,121

Talbot County

$901

$1,816

Tattnall County

$979

$1,317

Telfair County

$931

$1,233

Terrell County

$931

$1,233

Thomas County

$818

$1,272

Tift County

$688

$821

Toombs County

$785

$1,436

Towns County

$1,079

$2,245

Treutlen County

$931

$1,233

Troup County

$817

$1,203

Turner County

$763

$771

Twiggs County

$931

$1,233

Union County

$1,006

$1,775

Upson County

$948

$1,386

Walker County

$914

$1,391

Walton County

$804

$1,267

Ware County

$646

$784

Washington County

$583

$784

Wayne County

$756

$913

Wheeler County

$931

$1,233

White County

$1,110

$2,139

Whitfield County

$865

$1,469

Wilcox County

$931

$1,233

Wilkes County

$931

$1,233

Worth County

$1,170

$2,164

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Compare flood insurance rates in Georgia

Average flood insurance cost in Georgia by flood zone

Your flood insurance premiums are based primarily on the location of your home and how susceptible it is to flood damage If your house is near a large body of water or in a high-risk flood zone, you’ll likely pay significantly more for flood insurance compared to if you lived in a moderate- to low-risk area. 

Here are the average flood insurance rates in areas with a high risk, moderate-to-low risk, and unmapped risk, according to our analysis of NFIP flood insurance data.

Georgia flood zone

Average annual cost

High risk (A or V)

$1,083

Moderate-to-low risk (B, C, or X)

$603

Undetermined risk (D)

$2,195

How to find out if your home is in a high-risk flood zone

To find out if your current or future home is in a high-risk FEMA flood zone and whether you’ll need to purchase flood insurance, consult the agency’s Flood Map Service Center

But for a more accurate reading into your home’s flood risk both now and in the future, consider using a more advanced flood risk model like Risk Factor — FEMA’s new method for determining the cost of flood insurance.

What does flood insurance cover?

Flood insurance helps cover the cost of flood damage to your home and belongings. That means if your house is damaged due to flooding caused by heavy rainfall, a hurricane, high coastal tides, or any other sources of natural flooding, flood insurance can pay to repair or replace your property. 

A standard flood insurance policy through the NFIP comes with two main coverages that can be purchased together or individually.  

  • Building property coverage: Pays to repair or rebuild your house or garage if they’re damaged in a flood. The maximum building property coverage limit with the NFIP is $250,000, meaning that’s the most the NFIP will reimburse you for repairs, regardless of the damage amount.

  • Personal property coverage: Pays to repair or replace your belongings if they’re damaged in a flood. This includes your furniture, electronics, clothes, and any other items you own. The maximum personal property coverage limit with the NFIP is $100,000.

Each coverage also comes with its own separate out-of-pocket deductible, which is the amount you’re responsible for paying on each claim. Choosing a higher deductible will lower your flood insurance premium, but it will also reduce your claim payment.

Covered by NFIP flood insurance

  • Your home’s structure, including electrical and plumbing systems

  • Built-in appliances like refrigerators and dishwashers

  • Personal belongings like clothing, furniture, and electronics

  • Expensive valuables (up to $2,500)

  • Detached garages 

  • Debris removal

Not covered by NFIP flood insurance

  • Home or personal property damage caused by mold, mildew, or moisture

  • Currency, precious metals, and valuable papers

  • Belongings outside of your home, such as trees, plants, decks, hot tubs, etc

  • Any belongings in your basement

Compare flood insurance rates in Georgia

How to get flood insurance in Georgia

To get flood insurance, you can go one of two routes: 

  • NFIP flood insurance policy: Backed by the federal government and sold by insurance companies

  • Private flood insurance: Backed and sold by private insurers, it provides superior and often cheaper coverage compared to the NFIP plan

In order to purchase flood insurance through the NFIP, you need to live in a participating community. Fortunately, nearly 90% of all communities in Georgia participate in the program. And if you live in one of the 71 communities that doesn't offer NFIP coverage, you may still be able to purchase private flood insurance.

Private flood insurance policies typically come with higher reimbursement limits for flood damage to your home and personal belongings. Additionally, they often include coverages and other benefits that aren’t available in the NFIP plan. This includes loss of use coverage to help cover the cost of lodging or restaurant meals in the event your house is badly damaged and you’re forced to evacuate, or replacement cost coverage for your personal belongings. 

Here’s a look at what Georgia residents can expect with NFIP and private flood insurance.

NFIP flood insurance

Private flood insurance

Building property coverage

Max of $250,000

Up to $15 million depending on the company

Personal property coverage

Max of $100,000

Up to $1 million depending on the company

Additional living expenses

Not included

Often included

Basement contents

Limited to wall fixtures, air conditioners, washer/dryers

Often covered

Deductible

$1,000 to $10,000

$1,000 to $50,000

Waiting period

30 days

As little as 0 to 10 days

Accepted by mortgages

Yes

Yes

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How to save money on flood insurance in Georgia

There are several steps Georgia homeowners can take to mitigate the risk of flood damage to their home while also lowering their flood insurance rates. Here are the most effective ways to reduce the cost of flood insurance, according to FEMA.

  • Flood-proof your home. Elevating your home, moving water heaters and other home systems to higher ground, filling in basements and crawl spaces, and installing flood openings or barriers in your home can all lead to lower flood insurance rates. 

  • Increase your policy deductible. Setting your deductible at the $10,000 maximum can reduce your rates by as much as 40%, according to FEMA. Before increasing your deductible, make sure it’s set to an amount you can afford to pay out of pocket.  

  • Take advantage of community-wide discounts. If your community is enrolled in the NFIP’s Community Rating System, you’re eligible for a discount of anywhere from 5% to 45%. You can visit FEMA’s Community Rating System page to see if your community participates. 

  • Use an elevation certificate. An elevation certificate (EC) is a document that details your home’s flood risk. If you have an EC and it can prove that your home is above the Base Flood Elevation in your community, that could help lower your rates.

Georgia flood insurance companies

The following 24 insurance companies in Georgia are approved to sell NFIP flood insurance policies to their customers. Whether you’re interested in purchasing both your home and flood insurance through the same company or mix and match with different companies, these are the providers you’ll need to go to for NFIP coverage.

  • Selective Insurance 

  • South Carolina Insurance Company

  • Southern Farm Bureau 

  • State Capital Insurance 

  • State Farm 

  • The Hartford

  • The Philadelphia Contributionship

  • The Seibels Bruce Group, Inc.

  • Travelers 

  • Unisun Insurance 

  • Vesta Insurance

Curious how private flood insurance options stack up to the competition? Compare quotes with Policygenius and we’ll do our best to find you the cheapest and best flood insurance coverage for your home — whether through the NFIP or a private flood insurer.

Compare flood insurance rates in Georgia

References

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Policygenius uses external sources, including government data, industry studies, and reputable news organizations to supplement proprietary marketplace data and internal expertise. Learn more about how we use and vet external sources as part of oureditorial standards.

  1. The New York Times

    . "

    New Data Reveals Hidden Flood Risk Across America

    ." Accessed December 06, 2023.

  2. Risk Factor

    . "

    Does Georgia have Flood Risk?

    ." Accessed December 06, 2023.

  3. NYU Furman Center

    . "

    Housing in the U.S. Floodplains

    ." Accessed December 06, 2023.

  4. FEMA

    . "

    Historical Flood Risk and Costs

    ." Accessed December 06, 2023.

  5. Federal Emergency Management Agency

    . "

    Flood Insurance Data and Analytics

    ." Accessed December 06, 2023.

Author

Pat Howard is a managing editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where he specializes in homeowners insurance. His work and expertise has been featured in MarketWatch, Real Simple, Fox Business, VentureBeat, This Old House, Investopedia, Fatherly, Lifehacker, Better Homes & Garden, Property Casualty 360, and elsewhere.

Editor

Jennifer Gimbel is a senior managing editor and home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our homeowners insurance coverage. Previously, she was the managing editor at Finder.com and a content strategist at Babble.com.

Expert reviewer

Ian Bloom, CFP®, RLP®, is a certified financial planner and a member of the Financial Review Council at Policygenius. Previously, he was a financial advisor at MetLife and MassMutual.

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