Flood insurance in Texas: How much is it & what does it cover?

Much of Texas is prone to flooding, so Lone Star State residents in high-risk areas should consider flood insurance to protect their home and belongings.

Pat Howard 1600

By 

Pat Howard

Pat Howard

Senior Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

Pat Howard is a senior editor and licensed home insurance agent 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.

Published May 11, 2022 | 4 min read

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The average cost of flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is $676 per year in Texas, making it one of the more affordable states for flood insurance. But your own flood insurance rates may be significantly lower or higher than the average depending on where you live and how susceptible your home is to being flooded.  

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Key Takeaways

  • Around 7% of the roughly 10 million housing units in Texas have a high risk of flooding, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

  • Most mortgage lenders will require you to purchase flood insurance if your house is in a FEMA-designated Special Flood Hazard Risk Area, which is an area with a one in four chanceof flooding during a 30-year mortgage.

  • Most Texas homeowners purchase National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) flood insurance. These policies are regulated and backed by the federal government, but sold by private insurance companies.

  • Some Texas insurance providers also write and sell their own private flood insurance. While policies aren’t backed by the federal government, coverage is often cheaper and more customizable than the NFIP plan.

How much is flood insurance in Texas?

The average cost of flood insurance in Texas is $56 per month for around $300,000 in building property and personal property coverage. This is about 8% lower than the national average, according to our analysis of NFIP data. 

In the Texas cities with the most NFIP flood insurance customers, policyholders pay as little as $516 per year in the more inland League City to $1,444 per year in island cities like Galveston.

Your flood insurance costs are generally calculated based on the following factors:

  • Your home’s location

  • Your home’s age, size, and construction type

  • Your home’s elevation

  • Your policy deductible amount

  • The amount of coverage in your policy

However, your flood insurance rates also hinge on your specific insurance provider and how they price flood risk. 

Flood insurance costs with the NFIP, for example, are historically based on where your house is located within its Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), so you’ll generally pay the same as your neighbor if they’re in the same FEMA flood zone. 

Private flood insurance providers, on the other hand, use more advanced methods to gauge the flood risk and determine rates for each individual address. This includes analyzing each home’s elevation and simulating actual floods using predictive flood models.

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Flood insurance rates by flood zone in Texas

Flood insurance rates generally vary in Texas depending on which flood zone you live in. These zones are determined based on how likely the area is to flood over a period of time. Any flood zone with an A or V, for example, has at least a 1% chance of flooding during any given year. 

Also referred to as Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA) or 100-year floodplains, FEMA considers these areas to be the highest risk for flooding. If you live in an SFHA and have a mortgage on your house through a federally-backed lender, you may be required to purchase flood insurance. 

Here are the average flood insurance rates in Texas for the three major risk categories, according to FEMA.

Flood zoneAverage annual cost
High risk (A or V)$1,149
Moderate to low risk (B, C or X)$528
Undetermined risk (D)$2,204

Regardless of which flood zone you live in, you’ll want to make sure you’re finding the best flood insurance at the most affordable rate. For the best flood insurance policy comparison, make sure to compare both NFIP and private flood insurance options.

Flood insurance helps fill an important coverage gap

A typical homeowners insurance policy does not cover water damage caused by flooding, including flood damage caused by major storm events like a hurricane or severe thunderstorm. If your home is one of the nearly 700,000 in Texas in a FEMA-designated high-risk flood zone, your mortgage lender may require flood insurance as part of your loan agreement. But even if it isn’t required for your home, flood insurance is a smart purchase in Texas given the state’s numerous sources of flooding.

What does flood insurance cover in Texas?

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

  • 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 before your insurance kicks in. That means if your home and belongings are damaged in the same flood, you’ll have to file two separate claims with separate deductibles.

How to get flood insurance in Texas

When you’re ready to buy flood insurance, be sure to compare both NFIP and private flood insurance quotes. If you have homeowners insurance, there’s a good chance your insurer offers the NFIP plan, but it may have a private flood insurance option as well. 

If you’re unsure of where to go for flood insurance quotes, consider comparing home and flood insurance options with Policygenius. Our licensed experts can help you compare quotes from the NFIP and private flood insurance companies. 

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Private flood insurance vs. NFIP coverage

Many Texas homeowners are turning to private flood insurance as an alternative to the FEMA plan.

Private flood insurance generally has higher coverage limits, and policies include coverages and perks that aren’t available through the heavily regulated NFIP. This includes loss of use coverage to help cover lodging or restaurant meals if 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 Texas residents can expect with NFIP and private flood insurance.

NFIPPrivate flood insurance
Maximum home rebuild limit$250,000Typically up to $500,000 or higher
AvailabilityAll but 33 Texas countiesMay be limited in higher-risk areas
Waiting period30 daysAs little as two weeks
Accepted by mortgage lendersYesYes
Replacement cost building coverageYesYes
Replacement cost contents coverageNoYes
Loss of use coverageNoYes
Loss avoidance coverage (sandbags, etc)NoYes
Debris removal coverageYesYes

Do I need flood insurance in Texas?

Flood insurance isn’t legally required in Texas, however coverage is mandatory if you have a mortgage on your house through a federally-backed lender and you live in a high-risk flood zone, as designated by FEMA. Here’s a look at the total number of housing units and the percentage of all homes in high-risk flood zones for each county in Texas.

While most Texas homes are in flood zones B, C, and X (areas with a moderate to low risk of flooding), around 25% of all flood insurance claims come from these areas, according to FEMA. It’s also important to remember a typical home insurance policy doesn’t cover flooding, so if your house is flooded and you don’t have flood insurance, you’ll have to pay out of pocket for any repairs or remediation expenses.