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What Does Flood Insurance Cost By State? (2024 Flood Insurance Guide)

Last updated 07/05/2024 by

Benjamin Locke

Edited by

Summary:
Flood insurance costs differ widely based on state-specific factors such as local regulations, proximity to water bodies, and historical flood events. States with higher flood risks tend to have higher insurance premiums, while those with lower risks enjoy lower costs.
Flood insurance is a type of insurance that covers damage to your property and belongings caused by flooding, which is not typically covered by standard homeowners or renters insurance policies. It helps protect you financially from the costly damage that floods can inflict, ensuring you don’t have to bear the full burden of repairs and replacements out of pocket. This insurance is particularly important for those living in high-risk flood areas, as it provides essential coverage in the event of natural disasters like hurricanes, heavy rains, and storm surges.

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How does flood insurance cost vary by state?

The states with the highest average flood insurance costs include Florida, Texas, Louisiana, New Jersey, and South Carolina, primarily due to their high risk of flooding from hurricanes, heavy rainfall, and storm surges. Conversely, states like Vermont, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, and Utah have lower insurance costs due to their lower risk of significant flooding events.
Coverage options and limits vary by state, and these variations can significantly impact premiums. For instance, some states require additional coverage for specific perils like earthquakes or floods, which can increase premiums. In contrast, states with lower crime rates may offer lower premiums for theft coverage. Policyholders can adjust their coverage limits to suit their needs, but this will also affect their premiums. Higher coverage limits result in higher premiums, while lower coverage limits lead to lower premiums. – Samantha Odo, Marketing Manager at Precondo

Is flood insurance always necessary?

Flood insurance is not always legally required, but it is often necessary and highly recommended for properties in high-risk areas. If you have a mortgage from a federally regulated or insured lender and live in a high-risk flood zone, you are required to carry flood insurance. Even if you own your home outright, having flood insurance is crucial to protect yourself from financial loss due to flood damage, which is not covered by standard homeowners insurance policies. Without flood insurance, you would be responsible for all repair or replacement costs out of pocket, which can be financially devastating.

States with the lowest average flood insurance costs

StateAverage Annual Premium
Vermont$450
Idaho$460
Montana$470
South Dakota$480
Utah$490
The states with the lowest average flood insurance costs include Vermont, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, and Utah. These states benefit from fewer severe weather events and lower risks of significant flooding, contributing to their lower insurance premiums. Their geographical features and lower population densities also result in fewer claims, making flood insurance more affordable.

States with the highest average flood insurance costs

StateAverage Annual Premium
Florida$950
Texas$900
Louisiana$890
New Jersey$870
South Carolina$850
The states with the highest average flood insurance costs include Florida, Texas, Louisiana, New Jersey, and South Carolina. Florida has the highest average premium at $950 annually due to the high frequency of hurricanes and tropical storms. Texas and Louisiana face similar challenges with hurricanes and severe flooding, leading to high insurance costs. New Jersey’s high premiums are driven by coastal flooding and storm surges, while South Carolina’s costs are influenced by its susceptibility to hurricanes and heavy rainfall.

Type of flood insurance

Type of Flood InsuranceCoverageFeaturesExample Providers
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)Property damage and personal belongings. Up to $250,000 for structure and $100,000 for contents.Available to property owners in participating communities. Replacement cost coverage for building, actual cash value for belongings.FEMA
Private Flood InsuranceMore flexible and customizable policies. Higher coverage limits, broader options, additional benefits.Replacement cost coverage for building and contents, temporary living expenses.Aon, Chubb, Lloyd’s of London
Excess Flood InsuranceAdditional coverage beyond NFIP limits.Provides extra protection for high-value properties and assets.Private insurers offering excess coverage options.
Commercial Flood InsuranceCommercial properties, business personal property, inventory, business interruption loss.Comprehensive coverage for business risks.FEMA for basic coverage, private insurers for comprehensive options.
Basement CoverageLimited coverage for essential equipment, not personal belongings.Specialized add-on for basement improvements and belongings.NFIP, private insurers with enhanced options.
Residential Condominium Building Association Policy (RCBAP)Entire building and commonly owned property for condo associations.Covers building structure and common areas; unit owners need separate policies for personal belongings.NFIP, private insurers

Determinants of flood insurance costs

The cost of flood insurance is influenced by several factors. Insurance companies consider the following aspects when determining premiums:
CriteriaConsiderationImpact on Insurance Decision
LocationEvaluate the flood risk based on proximity to water bodies and historical flood dataHigher risk areas lead to higher premiums
ElevationConsider the elevation of the property relative to potential flood levelsLower elevation properties may have higher premiums
Coverage AmountDecide on coverage limits and deductiblesHigher coverage and lower deductibles increase premiums
Building CharacteristicsReview the structure and materials of the buildingOlder or less flood-resistant buildings may have higher premiums
Mitigation MeasuresImplement flood mitigation measures like elevating the property or installing flood barriersProperties with mitigation measures may qualify for lower premiums

Insurance policies and their average costs

Flood insurance costs vary widely depending on the type of coverage and the state you live in. Basic policies offer limited protection and are less expensive, while more comprehensive policies provide extensive coverage and can cost more. Factors such as location, property value, and specific coverage needs significantly influence these costs.

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

The NFIP is the most common source of flood insurance in the U.S., offering coverage for property damage and personal belongings. The average annual cost for NFIP policies is about $700.

Private flood insurance

Private insurers offer more flexible and customizable flood insurance policies compared to the NFIP. These policies can provide higher coverage limits and additional benefits. The average cost of private flood insurance is around $950 per year.

Ways to lower your flood insurance costs

Improve your property’s flood resilience

Enhancing your property’s flood resilience can lead to better insurance terms and lower premiums. Measures such as elevating your home, installing flood barriers, and using flood-resistant building materials can help reduce the risk of flood damage. Insurance companies may offer discounts for properties with these mitigation measures in place, ultimately reducing the total cost of your flood insurance.

Shop around

Comparing offers from multiple insurance companies can help you find the best rates. Utilize online comparison tools and seek quotes from various insurers to identify the most favorable terms. Different companies may offer varying rates and policy conditions, so it’s essential to explore all available options. Don’t settle for the first offer you receive; instead, take the time to negotiate with insurers and leverage competing offers to secure the best possible deal on your flood insurance.

Choose a higher deductible

Opting for a higher deductible can reduce your premiums. While higher deductibles mean you will pay more out of pocket in the event of a claim, they can significantly decrease the amount of your monthly or annual premium. This strategy can be particularly beneficial if you have the financial flexibility to handle higher deductibles and aim to minimize long-term premium expenses.

Consider flood insurance from private insurers

Private flood insurance policies can offer more competitive rates and flexible coverage options compared to the NFIP. Shopping for private insurance can help you find a policy that meets your needs at a lower cost. Additionally, private insurers may offer discounts for properties with flood mitigation measures and other risk-reducing features.

Maintain a claims-free history

Avoiding frequent claims can help keep your premiums lower. Insurance companies often provide discounts to policyholders who have not made claims over a certain period. By maintaining your property well and addressing minor issues out-of-pocket, you can reduce the likelihood of making claims and benefit from lower insurance costs.

FAQ

Does my homeowners’ insurance cover flood damage?

No, standard homeowners insurance policies do not cover flood damage. You need a separate flood insurance policy to protect your property from flood-related losses. Flood insurance can be obtained through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or private insurers to cover damages caused by flooding from natural events like heavy rain, hurricanes, or overflowing rivers.

How can I determine if my property is in a high-risk flood zone?

You can determine if your property is in a high-risk flood zone by consulting FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center or checking with your local government’s planning or building department. These resources provide detailed flood maps and risk assessments that show flood zones and the associated risk levels. Knowing your flood zone helps you understand your flood risk and the necessity of purchasing flood insurance.

What does flood insurance typically cover?

Flood insurance typically covers the physical structure of your home and its foundation, electrical and plumbing systems, appliances, flooring, and personal belongings such as furniture, clothing, and electronics. Coverage is provided for both direct physical loss caused by flooding and some expenses related to debris removal and loss avoidance measures. However, coverage limits and specifics can vary between NFIP and private insurance policies, so it’s important to review your policy details carefully.

How are flood insurance premiums calculated?

Flood insurance premiums are calculated based on several factors, including the location of the property, its elevation relative to the base flood elevation, the design and age of the building, and the amount and type of coverage chosen. Properties in high-risk flood zones generally have higher premiums due to the increased likelihood of flooding. Elevation certificates can help lower premiums by providing accurate data on the property’s flood risk.

Key takeaways

  • Flood insurance costs vary significantly across different states, influenced by local regulations, flood risks, and market competition.
  • States with higher insurance costs often face greater risks from severe weather events like hurricanes, heavy rainfall, and storm surges.
  • States with lower insurance costs benefit from fewer claims and lower risks of significant flooding, resulting in more affordable premiums.
  • Different types of flood insurance policies offer varying levels of coverage, with basic policies being less expensive and comprehensive policies providing extensive coverage at a higher cost.

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