Flood insurance in Virginia: Average costs & coverage options

Learn about Virginia 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.

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Virginia flood insurance: By the numbers

  • Virginia has over 482,760 properties with a severe risk of flooding over the next 30 years, yet there are only around 94,000 flood insurance policies in the state.

  • The average cost of flood insurance in Virginia is $743 per year when purchased through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

  • Under the NFIP’s new method for determining the cost of flood insurance, flood insurance rates in Virginia will eventually increase to $1,077 per year — a 45% 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, 21% of all NFIP flood damage claims in Virginia come from homes in areas with a minimal-to-moderate risk of flooding.

Flooding is the most common and expensive 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 Virginia, where roughly 81% of properties with an extreme risk of flooding do not have flood insurance coverage. 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 Virginia

Do you need flood insurance in Virginia?

In Virginia, 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. 

Roughly 9% of homes in Virginia are located in high-risk flood zones. [2] 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 you'll want to consider flood insurance regardless of whether or not you live in a high-risk area. Greater than 1 in 5 flood damage claims in Virginia are made by homeowners in low- to moderate-risk flood zones, homeowners will want to consider flood insurance regardless of where they live

How much is flood insurance in Virginia?

The average cost of flood insurance in Virginia is $743 per year or $62 per month through the National Flood Insurance Program, which is about 16% cheaper than the national average of $888 per year. However, your own flood insurance rates could be significantly higher or lower than the average in Virginia depending on your home’s elevation, size, and overall risk of being flooded.

Looking at the 50 Virginia counties with the most NFIP policyholders, Warren County’s $1,417 annual flood insurance premium was the most expensive on average. Located in Northern Virginia on the banks of the South Fork Shenandoah River, Warren County has several rivers and streams that likely contribute to its higher-than-average premiums. 

On the flip side, Suffolk, Virginia has the cheapest rates in our analysis, with homeowners paying an average of $548 each year for flood insurance. 

County

Average annual cost

Average risk-based cost

Accomack

$796

$1,383

Albemarle

$823

$1,308

Alexandria

$802

$1,306

Arlington

$555

$675

Augusta

$1,077

$2,416

Bedford

$838

$1,153

Buckingham

$838

$1,153

Charlotte

$838

$1,153

Chesapeake

$654

$720

Chesterfield

$803

$1,258

Essex

$1,097

$1,669

Fairfax

$626

$790

Falls Church

$731

$826

Fauquier

$768

$1,567

Gloucester

$878

$1,370

Hampton

$743

$872

Hanover

$631

$882

Henrico

$702

$926

Hudson

$838

$1,153

Isle Of Wight

$618

$755

James

$670

$862

Lancaster

$939

$1,789

Loudoun

$716

$979

Louisa

$838

$1,153

Martinsville

$838

$1,153

Mathews

$1,045

$1,742

Middlesex

$900

$1,557

Newport News

$548

$590

Norfolk

$671

$761

Northampton

$701

$1,126

Northumberland

$883

$1,987

Norton

$838

$1,153

Nottoway

$838

$1,153

Poquoson

$979

$1,718

Portsmouth

$613

$644

Prince William

$749

$1,059

Richmond

$595

$723

Roanoke

$1,117

$1,757

Roanoke

$907

$1,090

Rockingham

$1,295

$3,012

Salem

$1,404

$1,895

Southampton

$824

$1,309

Spotsylvania

$684

$1,030

Stafford

$682

$1,025

Suffolk

$548

$599

Tazewell

$1,027

$2,084

Virginia Beach

$671

$947

Warren

$1,417

$2,351

Westmoreland

$1,026

$1,905

York

$947

$1,918

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Average flood insurance cost in Virginia 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.

Virginia flood zone

Average annual cost

High risk (A or V)

$1,281

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

$625

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.

Compare flood insurance rates in Virginia

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

Flood insurance helps fill an important coverage gap

Most homeowners insurance policies do not cover water damage caused by flooding, so if you live in a flood-prone area of Virginia, you should consider purchasing flood insurance.

How to get flood insurance in Virginia

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 93% of all communities in Virginia participate in the program. And if you live in one of the 19 communities that don'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 Virginia 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 Virginia

There are several steps Virginia 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.

Virginia flood insurance companies

The following 22 insurance companies in Virginia 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.

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.

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. NYU Furman Center

    . "

    Housing in the U.S. Floodplains

    ." 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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