If you look at your home insurance, you may notice flood damage is excluded— meaning your insurance company won’t cover it. Should your home or personal belongings be destroyed by a flood, you would be responsible to pay for all flood-related damages.
Flood insurance is different from home insurance in that in most cases it must be purchased separately through the U.S. government (though private options are popping up). An insurance provider may discuss flood insurance on its site, but that is often because it acts as a liaison with the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
For many areas, flood insurance is not cheap, which can be a factor in a prospective buyer’s budget. However, despite the up-front expense, flood insurance can save you a lot of money— especially if you live in a high-risk area for flooding and consider the consequences of being uninsured.
Here’s what you need to know about the cost of flood insurance.
Average flood insurance cost by state
|States||Avg Cost of Flood Insurance|
|DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA||$ 734.16|
|NEW HAMPSHIRE||$ 1,093.94|
|NEW JERSEY||$ 953.96|
|NEW MEXICO||$ 858.94|
|NEW YORK||$ 1,178.15|
|NORTH CAROLINA||$ 751.33|
|NORTH DAKOTA||$ 668.06|
|RHODE ISLAND||$ 1,410.38|
|SOUTH CAROLINA||$ 674.92|
|SOUTH DAKOTA||$ 907.54|
|WEST VIRGINIA||$ 1,145.25|
|Avg. Based On Population||$ 886.43|
*Data from FEMA’s 2019 Claim Information By State report
The most expensive states for flood insurance
The top ten most expensive states for flood insurance are:
- Vermont: $1,447.04
- Connecticut: $1,430.19
- Rhode Island: $1,410.38
- Massachusetts: $1,274.51
- Pennsylvania: $1,214.42
- New York: $1,178.15
- West Virginia: $1,145.25
- New Hampshire: $1,093.94
- Missouri: $1,089.35
- Maine: $1,086.60
The cheapest states for flood insurance
The top ten cheapest states for flood insurance are:
- Florida: $563.06
- Maryland: $584.10
- Texas: $594.73
- Utah: $638.31
- Georgia: $661.36
- Arizona: $665.51
- North Dakota: $668.06
- Louisiana: $672.85
- South Carolina: $674.92
- Hawaii: $676.40
Factors that determine flood insurance cost
There are a handful of specific variables that determine how much you’ll pay for flood insurance. According to FEMA, the most important variables are:
- Location of your home
- The age of your home
- Whether it’s your primary residence
- How much coverage you have
- Whether you have a basement
- Your home’s flood risk
- Your deductible amount
- Location of your home’s lowest floor in relation to your base flood elevation mark
- Design and construction of your home
To determine if your home is considered to be in a flood zone, input your address into Fema’s flood map. Even if your home isn’t considered to be in a high risk area, you should also consider your area’s flooding history. To do so, you can research historical floods for your state and area by visiting the National Weather Service.
What does flood insurance cover?
Flood insurance covers your home’s structure and personal property. Should your home be damaged by flooding, flood insurance will reimburse you up to your policy limit for repairs. Your flood policy also includes protection for your home’s:
- Electrical systems
- Plumbing systems
Most flood insurance policies come with caps for certain types of personal belongings. For example, most policies include a cap of $2,500 for valuable items such as jewelry or fine art. If you need more coverage to protect high-value items, you will need to pay a higher rate for additional coverage.
Flood insurance does not cover the following:
- Earth movement
- Personal property outside of the home
- Additional living expenses
- Financial losses because of business impacts
- Precious metals
- Stock certificates
- Mold or mildew damage not attributed to the flood
How to lower your cost of flood insurance
You can lower the cost of flood insurance by:
- Installing flood vents to release water after a flood event.
- Filling in crawl spaces. Homes with crawl spaces tend to pay higher premiums. To lower your rate, you could consider filling in the crawl space under your house if you have one.
- Elevating your home above the base flood elevation mark. If you have a home being built, ask your contractor about the possibility of raising the elevation above base flood levels.
- Moving your home to or chose a home in an area above the base flood elevation mark.
- Moving your utilities— some homes have their utilities located in the basement or crawlspace. If possible, relocate them to a utility shed and you could save big on your flood insurance.