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Do I Need Flood Insurance?

Even if you don't live in a flood zone, having flood insurance can help you supplement coverage that's excluded by homeowners insurance.
Christine Lacagnina Written by Christine Lacagnina
Christine Lacagnina
Written by Christine Lacagnina

Christine Lacagnina has written thousands of insurance-based articles for by authoring consumable, understandable content.


According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), flooding is not only the most common natural disaster in the US but also the most expensive. Sadly, many homeowners mistakenly believe that coverage for damage caused by natural floodwaters is included in their homeowners insurance. But to have protection against financial losses due to property damage caused by flooding after heavy rainfall, hurricanes, tsunamis, etc., you actually need a separate coverage called flood insurance.

Fortunately, an independent insurance agent can help you find flood insurance. They'll make sure you know where to find the right coverage. But up first, here's a deep dive into flood insurance and when and why you'd need it.

When Is Flood Insurance Required?

You’re required to purchase flood insurance if your mortgage lender requires it, which may be more likely if you’re in one of a few high-risk flood zones. Many businesses are also required to purchase flood insurance if they're in high-risk areas. If not, this isn’t to say you don’t “need” flood insurance, but that it's not mandatory by federal law for you to purchase a flood policy. If you’re in a moderate-risk flood zone, you may want to pay for flood insurance on the chance there could be a flood. Often, the price is minimal if you aren’t in a high-risk zone, making it worth the cost. 

You can determine which flood zone you’re in by typing “What flood zone am I in?” as a search query and using an interactive map to find your address. You can also check the maps on FEMA's official website. But the best way to determine which coverage to purchase and what you need in terms of limits is to speak with a local independent insurance agent. 

Why Do I Need Flood Insurance?

Having flood insurance can help you protect your property and finances. Floods cause millions of dollars in damage each year and are the most common natural disaster in the US. Additional water damage is also extremely costly. 

As little as three inches of standing water in a home can cost as much as $12,000 in damage. Having coverage could mean the difference between huge possible financial losses and being assured you could easily pay for necessary repairs, should a storm hit your area. Not to mention, you may be required to have coverage by a mortgage lender.

Doesn't Homeowners Insurance Cover Flood Damage?

Unfortunately, no, home insurance doesn't cover damage to your home and personal property that's caused by natural floodwaters. So, water damage that stems from heavy rainfall, hurricanes, tsunamis, and other flooding natural disasters is not covered. In fact, this coverage is specifically excluded by your policy.

You need a separate flood insurance policy to have coverage for natural water damage to your home and personal contents like furniture, etc. Without it, claims submitted to your insurance company are bound to get denied.

What Does Flood Insurance Cover?

Flood insurance covers natural water damage to your home's dwelling or structure and your personal property or contents. It also covers your additional structures like detached garages and additional property like fuel tanks. Flood insurance can help pay to repair or rebuild your home's foundation as well as components within the structure such as walls and flooring if you have buildings coverage. Your personal belongings like clothing and electronics are also covered if you have contents coverage. Flood insurance can also pay for debris removal from your property after a flooding disaster.

What Doesn't Flood Insurance Cover?

Flood insurance doesn't cover any kind of water damage not related to natural sources like heavy rainfall. Damage from water flowing underground is also excluded by flood insurance. 

Flood insurance also doesn't cover:

  • Mold and mildew growth resulting from moisture that the homeowner could've prevented
  • Your vehicles
  • Property stored in a basement
  • Additional living expenses
  • Business losses
  • Outdoor insured property (e.g., pools, decks, landscaping)

Speak with your independent insurance agent about any concerns you have about the exclusions under flood insurance. But to protect your vehicle against flood damage, you'd need to have auto insurance, specifically comprehensive coverage.

How Much Does Flood Insurance Cost?

As with many other types of coverage, the cost of flood insurance varies depending on a few different factors. How much coverage you need and your specific property's flood risk are just a couple of these factors. Depending on how much coverage you need, limits for flood insurance tend to be up to $100,000 for your contents or personal belongings and up to $250,000 for your home's structure or dwelling. An independent insurance agent can help provide you with exact quotes for flood insurance in your area.

Get Help Finding Flood Insurance

When you're looking for flood protection for your home and property, an independent insurance agent can help point you in the right direction. Flood insurance is often only available from the National Flood Insurance Program, which is part of FEMA. However, a local independent insurance agent can help provide you with more information about where to find the coverage you need.

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