Flood insurance statistics

Stats to help you understand flood insurance — from the most common types of claims to how much it costs.

Pat Howard 1600

Pat Howard

Published July 29, 2019

Flood insurance by the numbers

Stats about flooding

90% • The percentage of natural disasters in the United States that involve flooding1

98% • The percentage of U.S. counties that are impacted by a flood event2

Stats about flood coverage

43% • Percentage of homeowners who incorrectly believe their homeowners insurance covers flooding1

48% • The growth in companies writing private flood insurance from 2016 to 20173

30 days • The amount of time it takes a National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) policy to kick in2

$700 • The average cost of NFIP flood insurance in the United States2

$250,000 • The building coverage limit in a NFIP flood insurance policy2

$100,000 • The contents coverage limit in a NFIP flood insurance policy2

Stats about flood claims

20% • The percentage of flood insurance claims that come from homes in low-to-moderate flood risk areas1

$20,000 • Potential cost of damage from just one inch of water2

$43,000 • The average NFIP flood claim payout2

Get more flood insurance statistics below, or read our complete flood insurance guide here


Sources
1.Insurance Information Institute
2.Federal Emergency Management Administration (FEMA)
3.Insurance Journal

NFIP flood insurance rates by state

As of 2018, the average cost of an NFIP flood insurance policy is $700, according to the latest data provided by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Your flood insurance costs are generally based on the following factors:

  • Your coverage amounts and type of coverage
  • The age and build of your home
  • Your home’s location and flood zone

State averages were calculated using data provided by the Insurance Information Institute (III). We divided the total in-force premium in each state by the number of in-force policies in each state.

average-flood-insurance-cost-by-state

StateAverage premiumStateAverage premium
Alabama$686.71Montana$704.11
Alaska$901.96North Carolina$814.39
Arizona$665.99North Dakota$676.52
Arkansas$847.08Nebraska$997.81
California$805.83New Hampshire$1,060.08
Colorado$855.56New Jersey$960.79
Connecticut$1,394.83New Mexico$843.38
Delaware$724.06Nevada$720.91
District Columbia$723.61New York$1,154.84
Florida$550.33Ohio$1,046.51
Georgia$684.36Oklahoma$856.08
Hawaii$672.64Oregon$888.66
Idaho$745.56Pennsylvania$1,175.58
Illinois$1,045.22Rhode Island$1,389.22
Indiana$999.30South Carolina$671.83
Iowa$1,044.54South Dakota$931.04
Kansas$881.65Tennessee$860.72
Kentucky$970.54Texas$581.11
Louisiana$664.43Utah$653.78
Maine$1,064.81Virginia$736.86
Maryland$572.91Vermont$1,391.24
Massachusetts$1,251.25Washington$901.16
Michigan$1,008.06Wisconsin$973.44
Minnesota$900.48West Virginia$1,104.16
Mississippi$694.75Wyoming$887.74
Missouri$1,070.76

As you can see, states that aren’t prone to flooding, like Pennsylvania, Vermont, and West Virginia, have the highest average rates. States that experience the most flooding — Florida, Louisiana, and Texas — have the lowest average rates. Why is that?

It’s a matter of sample size. If you live in a non-coastal state and you have flood insurance, that’s probably because you live on a floodplain, where rates are generally the highest.

Conversely, many more homes in low- to moderate-risk areas of coastal states have flood insurance than that of their inland counterparts. When you take into account that NFIP flood insurance in lower-risk areas can be as low as $200, that may account for the average rate discrepancy.

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NFIP flood insurance policies by state

Here’s the total number of active NFIP flood insurance policies per state as of 2017, according to the III. The table also includes each state’s total in-force premium.

StateNumber of policiesCombined in-force policy premium ($ millions)StateNumber of policiesCombined in-force policy premium ($ millions)
Alabama55,138$12,843.80Montana4,874$1,017.20
Alaska2,457$661.90Nebraska9,413$1,811.80
Arizona32,245$8,048.50Nevada12,303$3,222.70
Arkansas16,677$3,036.70New Hampshire8,248$1,834.80
California239,905$68,790.60New Jersey226,588$56,510.10
Colorado21,057$5,416.10New Mexico12,849$2,681.00
Connecticut38,492$9,798.50New York181,309$49,506.80
D.C.2,036$490.90North Carolina133,946$33,361.70
Delaware26,763$7,026.90North Dakota10,530$2,881.50
Florida1,759,052$434,448.90Ohio33,295$6,187.30
Georgia88,803$23,345.50Oklahoma13,704$2,877.60
Hawaii60,629$13,886.00Oregon28,361$7,139.80
Idaho7,941$2,082.40Pennsylvania58,535$12,235.60
Illinois41,012$8,041.10Rhode Island13,809$3,616.20
Indiana22,921$4,534.80South Carolina203,358$53,124.50
Iowa12,776$2,621.90South Dakota3,596$799.20
Kansas9,673$1,887.30Tennessee29,450$7,140.50
Kentucky21,016$3,596.40Texas664,178$183,126.80
Louisiana498,271$128,694.10Utah3,957$1,023.90
Maine8,395$2,007.50Vermont3,720$830.20
Maryland66,837$15,917.70Virginia106,458$27,740.60
Massachusetts63,419$16,217.30Washington36,831$9,435.40
Michigan20,730$3,882.40West Virginia15,563$2,338.00
Minnesota9,189$2,209.90Wisconsin12,485$2,446.90
Mississippi64,372$15,691.20Wyoming2,084$538.80

NFIP flood insurance claims and total payouts by state

The average year-over-year NFIP flood insurance claim is $43,000, according to FEMA. Flood insurance may be pricey, but flood damage is even pricer. Here’s a cool FEMA visual that shows how flood events have impacted your specific state or county.

Below is the total number of flood insurance claims and claim reimbursements by state as of 2016, according to the III.

StateTotal claimsTotal claim payouts ($ millions)StateTotal claimsTotal claim payouts ($ millions)
Alabama407$8.51Montana8$0.00
Alaska8$0.08Nebraska100$0.19
Arizona110$0.49Nevada12$0.07
Arkansas446$10.36New Hampshire11$0.04
California337$4.59New Jersey1,702$26.05
Colorado55$0.10New Mexico34$0.11
Connecticut28$0.07New York233$0.99
Delaware176$1.32North Carolina1,336$9.44
D.C.15$0.01North Dakota3$0.00
Florida3,310$17.02Ohio81$0.52
Georgia675$10.08Oklahoma282$10.11
Hawaii86$0.82Oregon255$5.81
Idaho10$0.02Pennsylvania172$1.56
Illinois475$4.96Rhode Island5$0.01
Indiana111$0.54South Carolina5,643$139.81
Iowa549$0.49South Dakota5$0.09
Kansas177$1.78Tennessee234$2.72
Kentucky49$1.43Texas16,024$696.03
Louisiana35,155$804.89Utah10$0.02
Maine13$0.07Vermont5$0.01
Maryland257$3.27Virginia228$4.36
Massachusetts39$0.18Washington435$7.02
Michigan123$0.26West Virginia1,131$35.02
Minnesota112$0.57Wisconsin102$0.42
Mississippi919$20.04Wyoming9$0.06
Missouri1,726$72.07

Average NFIP flood claim by year

Here’s the average flood claim payout per year up until 2017, according to FEMA.

YearTotal policiesAverage flood claim payout
19802,103,851$5,497.00
19852,016,785$9,521.00
19902,477,861$11,371.00
19953,476,829$20,749.00
20004,369,087$15,384.00
20054,962,011$83,198.00
20095,700,235$25,133.00
20105,645,436$26,529.00
20115,646,144$31,053.00
20125,620,017$62,674.00
20135,568,642$27,185.00
20145,406,725$29,459.00
20155,205,094$39,861.00
20165,081,470$62,247.00
20175,047,602$91,735.00

Private flood insurance in the U.S.

The number of insurance companies writing private flood coverage has increased drastically over the last three years: from 46 companies in 2016 to 89 companies in 2017 to 124 companies in 2018, according to the Insurance Journal.

Why is the private flood insurance industry on the upswing, you ask? In the past, flood insurance was viewed as an untouchable risk. But thanks to technological advancements in recent years, flood events are more predictable, flood maps are more accurate than that of their FEMA counterparts, and it's now easier to assess the risk faced by each home.

private-flood-insurance-2016-2018

Top private flood insurance companies

Here are the top writers of private flood insurance in the U.S. by total direct premiums, according to an Insurance Journal report. Direct premiums are the amount insurance companies make off of each individual insurance policy.

Insurance companyTotal direct premium
Assurant$83,042,125
AIG$59,759,482
Swiss Re$49,687,501
Liberty Mutual$7,556,975
ASI-Progressive$6,070,467
All Others$4,204,437