Q

How much does flood insurance cost?

A

The average cost of flood insurance is $738 per year, but the amount you pay will depend on your home’s location, elevation, and the amount of coverage in your policy.

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The average cost of flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program is $738 per year, but the cost of your own policy will depend on your home’s location and individual flood risk. [1]

If you live in an area that’s prone to flooding, you’ll generally have to pay more for flood insurance. Residents of high-risk flood zones pay an average of $1,167 per year for a standard flood policy — more than double the national average — on top of the cost of their homeowners insurance.

Key Takeaways

  • Flood insurance costs $62 per month on average, according to our analysis of NFIP data

  • Rates can vary widely depending on whether your home is in a high-risk flood zone or close to a body of water

  • If your flood insurance is set to increase under the new guidelines, there are several actions you can take to get your rates back down

How much is flood insurance in each state?

Most flood insurance policies in the U.S. are provided through the NFIP, a program run by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The cost of NFIP flood insurance will differ greatly depending on your state and your home’s FEMA flood zone designation. 

Historically, the NFIP has used FEMA maps to price flood insurance — if your home is in zone AE or V, you’ll pay more than someone in zone B or C. There are often several different flood zones in the same city or country, and for that reason, flood insurance costs can vary widely on the local level.

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The most expensive states for flood insurance

Three of the five most expensive states for NFIP flood insurance are located in the Northeast: Connecticut, Maine, and Rhode Island. Hawaii and New Mexico join them as two of the most expensive states for NFIP coverage. 

  • Connecticut: $1,198

  • Maine: $1,065

  • Hawaii: $1,033

  • Rhode Island: $1,001

  • New Mexico: $974

The cheapest states for flood insurance

Texas and Louisiana — two states with arguably the highest flood risk — also happen to be the cheapest for NFIP flood insurance. Rounding out the top five are the states of Oklahoma, Utah, and Arizona. 

  • Texas: $643

  • Oklahoma: $646

  • Louisiana: $656

  • Utah: $667

  • Arizona: $680

Factors that determine flood insurance cost

There are multiple factors that the NFIP and private flood insurance companies use to calculate your flood insurance rates, including your home's flood risk, the type of coverage in your policy, your policy's deductible amount, and the age and design of your home. Here’s a look at the different variables that determine your flood insurance rates.

Flood risk

Your flood insurance rates hinge primarily on how susceptible your home is to being flooded. If your house is in a FEMA-designated 100-year floodplain, meaning an area that faces a 26% chance of flooding during the span of a 30-year mortgage, you’ll likely pay significantly more than if you lived in a moderate to low-risk area. 

Flood zoneAverage annual cost
High-risk areas$1,167
Moderate to low-risk flood areas$630

Coverage types and amounts

The NFIP provides up to $250,000 in building coverage to cover damage to your home’s structure and any built-in systems or appliances. You also have the option of purchasing up to $100,000 in contents coverage for your personal belongings, such as clothing and furniture. The more building or contents coverage you choose, the higher your flood insurance premiums will be. 

Home age and construction

The age of your house and the way it’s built will also have a significant impact on your flood insurance costs. Older homes that don’t have proper flood mitigation features, like flood openings or barriers, or home’s that aren’t built up to modern floodproofing standards are likely going to cost more to insure. 

Deductible amount

Your policy deductible is the amount you’re responsible for paying before flood insurance will cover your claim. A higher deductible means lower rates, but it also means you’ll be paying more out of pocket if you ever file a claim for flood damages.

Genius tip

As of October 2021, FEMA is changing how it calculates flood insurance rates through a new program called Risk Rating 2.0. The changes will increase flood insurance costs on roughly 77% of existing policies. FEMA says the rate changes do a better job of reflecting each home’s individual flood risk and that flood zone designation will no longer factor into its rate calculations. The rates changes kick in for existing policies once they renew on or after April 1, 2022, so the cost of most active flood policies is still based on the old rating method.

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What does flood insurance cover?

Flood insurance covers damage caused by natural flooding, including heavy rains, overflowing lakes and rivers, storm surge, and rapid snowmelt. Flooding that originates in your house — like a burst pipe or ruptured water heater — is not covered by flood insurance (but it might be covered under your homeowners insurance). Additionally, if a flash flood causes your sewer lines to backup and your house is subsequently flooded, that also wouldn’t be covered. 

FEMA flood insurance includes two types of coverage with their own separate deductible options: building property coverage and personal property coverage.

Building property coverage

  • Your home’s structure and foundation

  • Electrical and plumbing systems

  • Furnaces and water heaters

  • Built-in appliances, including refrigerators, stoves, and dishwashers

  • Permanently installed carpeting

  • Central air-conditioners

  • Cabinets, paneling, and bookcases

  • Detached garages

  • Fuel tanks, well water tanks and pumps, and solar equipment 

Personal property coverage

  • Clothing

  • Furniture

  • Electronics

  • Window air conditioning units

  • Portable appliances

  • Washer and dryers

  • Freezers

  • Artwork, furs, jewelry, and watches

How to save money on flood insurance

There are several steps you can take to mitigate your home’s flood risk and also lower your flood insurance rates. According to FEMA, these are the most effective ways to lower your flood insurance rates.

  • Floodproof your house: Elevating your house, moving water heaters and other home systems to higher ground, filling in basements and crawlspaces, 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.  

  • 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%. Check here to see if your community participates. 

  • Use an elevation certificate: An elevation certificate 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.

Do I need flood insurance?

Since most homeowners insurance policies don’t cover flood damage, you’ll need flood insurance if your house is in an area at risk of flooding. If you don’t have flood insurance and your home gets flooded, you’ll have to pay for repairs and new belongings out of your own pocket. Flood insurance is also typically required if your home is in a high-risk flood zone and you have a federally-backed mortgage.  

However, a startling number of homeowners who should have flood insurance are uninsured, according to a Policygenius analysis of flood insurance and floodplain data. Of the roughly 7 million housing units located in Special Flood Hazard Areas — the most flood-prone areas according to FEMA — just 21% of those homes have flood insurance. The table below provides a state-by-state breakdown of this finding. 

The percentage of uninsured homes in SFHAs is the ratio of the number of active NFIP policies (as of October 2021) to total housing units in SFHAs in each state based on NYU Furman Center’s ‘Housing in the U.S. Floodplains’ study.

Frequently asked questions

Is private flood insurance cheaper than NFIP insurance?

The private flood insurance market is getting bigger, and that may be better for flood insurance rates, according to a study conducted by consulting firm Milliman. The study looked at three states that account for over 50% of NFIP policies — Florida, Texas, and Louisiana — and found that an overwhelming number of homes in each state could see cheaper rates with private flood insurance.

How much does flood insurance cost in zone AE?

The average cost of NFIP flood insurance in high-risk flood areas is $1,167 per year. Homes in the AE zone account for most SFHA policies, so you should expect to pay around that much if your house is located in that zone.

Is flood insurance required?

Flood insurance isn’t required by law, but if you live in a SFHA and you have a federally-backed mortgage on your house, your lender will likely require flood insurance before extending you a loan.

What does flood insurance cover?

Flood insurance covers your home, its foundation, and contents inside your house like furniture, electronics, and jewelry if they’re damaged by flooding. A standard NFIP policy offers up to $250,000 in building coverage for your home, and $100,000 in contents coverage for your belongings.

Methodology

To find the average cost of flood insurance in each state and flood zone across the U.S., Policygenius analyzed the latest available NFIP flood insurance policy data from OpenFEMA — FEMA’s publicly available rate tables. Average rates were based on a single-family home with $250,000 in building coverage and $100,000 in contents coverage.

To find the average cost of flood insurance in each state and flood zone across the U.S., Policygenius analyzed the latest available NFIP flood insurance policy data from OpenFEMA — FEMA’s publicly available rate tables. Average rates were based on a single-family home with $250,000 in building coverage and $100,000 in contents coverage.

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