Basic Information for Homeowners, Businesses, & Renters
Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in 1968 to alleviate the financial burden caused by flooding across the United States. The NFIP is administered nationally by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), and enables homeowners, business owners and renters in participating communities to purchase federally-backed flood insurance as protection again flood loss.
Federal disaster assistance does not become available unless a flood event is declared to be a major disaster by the President. (Most forms of federal disaster assistance are loans which must be paid back with interest.) Since most homeowners' insurance policies do not usually cover flood damage, acquiring and maintaining flood insurance coverage is a practical alternative to help citizens recover from flood losses. The NFIP makes flood insurance available to property owners, renters and businesses in high, moderate, and low flood risk areas. Anyone that has sustained flood damage who has flood insurance coverage can make a claim on their policy regardless of a federal disaster declaration and will be able to recover faster when floodwaters recede.
Homes and businesses in high-risk flood areas (known as Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHA)) with mortgages from government-backed lenders are required to have flood insurance.
Does my community participate in the NFIP?
To see if your community participates in the NFIP, visit FEMA’s Community Status Book
Who is eligible to purchase flood insurance?
ANYONE residing in a participating community can purchase flood insurance. It is available to all residents, business owners and renters in both high risk and moderate to low risk areas.
How can I purchase flood insurance?
Flood insurance can be purchased through a licensed insurance agent or an insurer participating in the NFIP. It cannot be purchased directly from the NFIP. If your insurance agent does not sell flood insurance, you can contact the NFIP Referral Call Center at 1-800-427-4661 to request an agent referral.
For more detailed information on flood insurance and the NFIP, visit: www.floodsmart.gov
Newly Mapped Discount
If a flood map is being updated and the mapped flood zone showing a property’s flood risk is changing from a moderate- to low-risk flood area (Zone B, C, or X) to a high-risk area (Zone A or V), there is a discount available to help ease the financial impact of the map change. For property owners that are newly identified to be a high-risk flood area, the NFIP offers a cost-saving option known as the Newly Mapped Discount. To use this option, a property owner must purchase a flood insurance policy during the first 12 months after a map update. With Risk Rating 2.0: Equity in Action, Newly Mapped Discounts and subsequent rate increases will continue. Premiums will continue increasing gradually and within the existing statutory limits set by Congress until reaching the full risk premium. Rates will go up no more than 18% each year until they reach their full risk premium. If the property is sold, the policy can be transferred to the new owners, allowing them to keep the lower rate. Clients also must maintain coverage to keep their Newly Mapped rate.