Flood Facts

  • Floods and flash floods happen in all 50 states.
  • Everyone lives in a flood zone.
  • Most homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage.
  • If you live in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) or high-risk area and have a Federally backed mortgage, your mortgage lender requires you to have flood insurance.
  • Just an inch of water can cause costly damage to your property.
  • Flash floods often bring walls of water 10 to 20 feet high.
  • A car can easily be carried away by just two feet of floodwater.
  • Hurricanes, winter storms and snowmelt are common (but often overlooked) causes of flooding.
  • New land development can increase flood risk, especially if the construction changes natural runoff paths.
  • Federal disaster assistance is usually a loan that must be paid back with interest. For a $50,000 loan at 4% interest, your monthly payment would be around $240 a month ($2,880 a year) for 30 years. Compare that to a $100,000 flood insurance premium, which is about $400 a year ($33 a month).
  • If you live in a moderate-to-low risk area and are eligible for the Preferred Risk Policy, your flood insurance premium may be as low as $129 a year, including coverage for your property’s contents.
  • You are eligible to purchase flood insurance as long as your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program.
  • It takes 30 days after purchase for a policy to take effect, so it’s important to buy insurance before the floodwaters start to rise.
  • In a high-risk area, your home is more than twice as likely to be damaged by flood than by fire.
  • Anyone can be financially vulnerable to floods. People outside of high-risk areas file over 20% of NFIP claims and receive one-third of disaster assistance for flooding.
  • The average annual U.S. flood losses in the past 10 years (2001-2010) were more than $2.7 billion.
  • When your community participates in the Community Rating System (CRS), you can qualify for an insurance premium discount of up to 45%.
  • Since 1978, the NFIP has paid over $36.9 billion for flood insurance claims and related costs (as of 12/31/10).
  • Over 5.5 million people currently hold flood insurance policies in more than 21,000 communities across the U.S.

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