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Flood Facts

  • In the past 5 years, all 50 states have experienced floods or flash floods.
  • Everyone lives in a flood zone. (For more information, visit our Flood Zones FAQs.)
  • Most homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage.
  • If you live in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) or high-risk area and have a Federally backed mortgage, your mortgage lender requires you to have flood insurance. (To find your flood risk, fill out the Flood Risk Profile.)
  • Just a few inches of water from a flood can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage.
  • Flash floods often bring walls of water 10 to 20 feet high.
  • A car can easily be carried away by just two feet of floodwater.
  • Hurricanes, winter storms and snowmelt are common (but often overlooked) causes of flooding.
  • New land development can increase flood risk, especially if the construction changes natural runoff paths.
  • Federal disaster assistance is usually a loan that must be paid back with interest. For a $50,000 loan at 4% interest, your monthly payment would be around $240 a month ($2,880 a year) for 30 years. Compare that to a $100,000 flood insurance premium, which is about $400 a year ($33 a month).
  • Homes and businesses may qualify for the low-cost Preferred Risk Policy, with premiums starting as low as $129 for a home and its contents and $643 for a commercial building and its contents.*

    *$129 residential annual premium provides $20,000 building and $8,000 contents coverage. $643 commercial annual premium provides $50,000 building and $50,000 contents coverage.
  • You are eligible to purchase flood insurance as long as your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program. Check the Community Status Book to see if your community is already an NFIP partner.
  • In most cases, it takes 30 days after purchase for a policy to take effect, so it's important to buy insurance before the storm approaches and the floodwaters start to rise.
  • In a high-risk area, your home is more likely to be damaged by flood than by fire.
  • Even though flood insurance isn't federally required, anyone can be financially vulnerable to floods. In fact, people outside of mapped high-risk flood areas file nearly 25% of all National Flood Insurance Program flood insurance claims and receive one-third of Federal Disaster Assistance for flooding.
  • From 2003 to 2012, total flood insurance claims averaged nearly $4 billion per year.
  • When your community participates in the Community Rating System (CRS), you can qualify for an insurance premium discount of up to 45% if you live in a high-risk area and up to 10% in moderate- to low-risk areas.
  • Since 1978, the NFIP has paid more than $48.1 billion for flood insurance claims and related costs (as of 7/8/13).
  • More than 5.5 million people currently hold flood insurance policies in more than 21,800 communities across the U.S.
  • The two most common reimbursement methods for flood claims are: Replacement Cost Value (RCV) and Actual Cash Value (ACV). The RCV is the cost to replace damaged property. It is reimbursable to owners of single-family, primary residences insured to at least 80% of the building's replacement cost.

For more policy and claim statistics, visit the National Flood Insurance Program.

PRIMARY RESIDENCE DISCLAIMER


For flood insurance rating purposes, a primary residence is a building that will be lived in by the insured or the insured's spouse for at least 80 percent of the 365 days following the policy effective date. If the building will be lived in for less than 80 percent of the policy year, it is considered to be a non-primary residence.

How Can I get Covered?

  • Rate your risk
  • Estimate your premiums
  • Find an agent
 

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Last Updated: Sunday, 13-Apr-2014, 4:35 PM (EDT)

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