In Massachusetts, roughly 77% of properties with an extreme risk of flooding do not have flood insurance coverage. Because homeowners insurance doesn’t typically cover flood damage, Massachusetts residents should consider purchasing flood insurance in addition to home insurance — regardless of whether their property is located in a high-risk flood zone or not. 
Do you need flood insurance in Massachusetts?
In Massachusetts, you’re not legally required to purchase flood insurance. However, your mortgage lender can require you to purchase it if you live in a high-risk flood zone according to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) flood maps. If flood insurance is not required as part of your mortgage, it’s a good idea to purchase it anyway.
Roughly 90% of natural disasters in the U.S. involve flooding. And consequently, floods happen just about everywhere — 99% of U.S. counties are estimated to have had at least one flood event in recorded history. It’s also estimated that roughly twice as many properties in the U.S. are at risk of flood damage than previously thought. 
Given that greater than 1 in 5 flood damage claims are made by homeowners in low- to moderate-risk flood areas on FEMA flood maps, Massachusetts homeowners will want to consider flood insurance regardless of where they live.
How much is flood insurance in Massachusetts?
The average cost of flood insurance in Massachusetts is $1,269 per year or $106 per month through the National Flood Insurance Program, which is about 43% more expensive than the national average of $888 per year.  However, your own flood insurance rates may be higher or lower than the Massachusetts average depending on your home’s elevation, size, and overall flood risk.
Looking at the average cost of flood insurance for each county in Massachusetts, Nantucket’s $1,526 annual flood insurance premium was the most expensive on average. The county’s nearly 500 NFIP policyholders are expected to see their rates jump nearly $1,300 on average, or 87%, in the coming years under Risk Rating 2.0 — the NFIP’s new rating system.
On the flip side, Worcester County had the cheapest flood insurance rates in our analysis, with homeowners there paying an average of $839 each year for coverage. Under Risk Rating 2.0, Worcester residents won’t be hit by nearly the same level of sticker shock as those in Nantucket, with premiums expected to rise about 34% in the coming years.
Average annual cost
Average risk-based cost
Average flood insurance cost in Massachusetts by flood zone
Flood insurance rates for a particular property are based primarily on its location and whether or not it’s in a high-risk flood zone. If you live in a high-risk area, you’ll likely pay 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 of Massachusetts with a high risk, moderate-to-low risk, and unmapped risk, according to our analysis of NFIP flood insurance data.
Massachusetts flood zone
Average annual cost
High risk (A or V)
Moderate to low risk (B, C, or X)
Undetermined risk (D)
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.
How to get flood insurance in Massachusetts
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 97% of all communities in Massachusetts participate in the program. And if you live in one of the 9 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 coverage limits for your home and personal belongings if they’re damaged by flooding. 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 Massachusetts 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
Limited to wall fixtures, air conditioners, washer/dryers
$1,000 to $10,000
$1,000 to $50,000
As little as 0 to 10 days
Accepted by mortgages
How to save money on flood insurance in Massachusetts
There are several steps that Massachusetts 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.
Massachusetts flood insurance companies
Whether you’re interested in purchasing both your home and flood insurance through the same company or mix and match with different companies, here are the providers you’ll need to go to for either NFIP or private flood insurance.
NFIP flood insurance providers in Massachusetts
The following 21 companies are approved to sell NFIP flood insurance policies to customers in Massachusetts:
Private flood insurance providers in Massachusetts
The following two companies offer standalone private flood insurance in Massachusetts:
Excess flood insurance providers
The following five companies offer excess flood insurance, which is a type of private flood insurance that increases coverage limits for your home and personal belongings beyond the maximum amount offered through the NFIP:
Wright National Flood Insurance
Flood endorsement providers
The following three companies offer a flood insurance coverage endorsement that can be added to your homeowners insurance policy. Flood endorsements provide the same coverages as a separate flood insurance policy, but often have lower available coverage limits.
American European Insurance Company
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.