Myths And Facts About Floods And Flood Insurance

Main Content
Release date: 
July 2, 2009
Release Number: 
1841-030

FRANKFORT, Ky. -- Ninety percent of all natural disasters in the United States involve some degree of flooding. Even a few inches of water can cause extensive, costly damage. The overall risk of a loss from flooding is generally higher than the risk from fire.

There are many misconceptions and much misinformation about flooding and flood insurance. Here are some clarifications.

My homeowners insurance policy will cover flood damages.
Homeowner’s and renter’s insurance policies do not cover flood damage or loss.  A separate flood insurance policy is the only way to protect your property in the event of flooding. Home and business owners should purchase coverage on both structure and contents. Renters should purchase contents insurance. Many insurance agents sell flood insurance. To find an agent in your area, call 888-379-9531 or go online to www.floodsmart.gov/.

I don’t need flood insurance because I don’t live in a flood zone.
Anywhere it rains, it can flood. Many conditions can result in a flood, such as: hurricanes, broken levees, outdated or clogged drainage systems or rapid accumulation of rainfall. Just because you haven’t experienced a flood in the past doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. A quarter of all flood insurance claims come from people living in low to moderate risk areas.                                

I can’t get flood insurance because I live in a high-risk area for flooding.
Homeowners, renters and businesses in high risk areas do qualify for flood insurance, even if their property previously has flooded, if their community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Participating communities agree to adopt and enforce sound floodplain management practices to reduce future flood damage. To find out if your community participates in the NFIP and what your flood zone risk is contact the NFIP at 888-379-9531 or go online towww.floodsmart.gov/.

Flood insurance is not required, so I don’t need it.
Flood insurance may be required. If you have a mortgage from a federally regulated lender on a home located in a high-risk area, federal law requires you to purchase flood insurance. Also, if you’ve received a federal grant or loan for previous flood losses, you must have a flood policy in force to qualify for aid in the case of future flooding.

I don’t need flood insurance because I can get assistance from FEMA.
FEMA provides aid only in presidentially declared disaster areas and many floods do not lead to a declaration. Flood insurance covers flood damages whenever and wherever they occur, declaration or not. Even if you receive disaster assistance, it is unlikely to be enough to cover all your losses and restore you to your pre-disaster condition. Flood insurance reimburses you for all covered losses up to $250,000 for homeowners and $500,000 for businesses. Contents coverage is also available up to $100,000 for homeowners and renters and $500,000 for businesses.

I have to buy flood insurance from the NFIP.
Insurance agents all over the United States sell flood insurance. If your usual agent does not sell it call the NFIP at 888-379-9531 or go online to www.floodsmart.gov/ to find agents in your area who sell it.

FEMA’s mission is to support our citizens and first responders to ensure that as a nation we work together to build, sustain, and improve our capability to prepare for, ...

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
State/Tribal Government or Region: 
Back to Top