Quick Look: Best Cheap Flood Insurance
Floods are 1 of the most destructive natural disasters. The power of water can not only destroy your property, but the wet environment after a flood can lead to mold growth.
Most homeowners or renters insurance won’t cover flood damage — even if you live in an area prone to water. A flood insurance policy is the only coverage that will help you pay for a repair — it's usually inexpensive.
Look into a flood insurance policy if you’re concerned about weather-related water damage. Benzinga’s guide will help you track down the best cheap flood insurance policy.
National Flood Insurance Program
Most flood insurance policies are guided by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Facilitated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the program provides affordable flood insurance to homeowners, renters and businesses. It also encourages communities to adopt and enforce floodplain regulations.
You can’t buy a flood insurance policy directly through FEMA — the program helps you connect with an NFIP-participating insurer. NFIP has a partnership with more than 60 private insurance companies. You must live in an NFIP-participating community to purchase NFIP flood insurance. Visit floodsmart.gov to learn more about NFIP flood insurance — there are more than 22,000 communities involved in the NFIP.
The Preferred Risk Policy Under NFIP
The Preferred Risk Policy is an option if you’re located in a low- to moderate-risk area identified by the NFIP. The average policy premium for a Preferred Risk Policy is $439.
Rates are determined by several factors under NFIP regulations. These include the year of construction, compliance with local floodplain ordinances, your deductible amount, the coverage amount for your building and contents, local flood risk and whether or not the property is your primary residence.
Best Cheap Flood Insurance Companies
If your community is not an NFIP participant, you can still get flood insurance. Policyholders outside of high-risk flood areas file over 20% of all NFIP flood insurance claims, according to FEMA.
Even if flood insurance isn’t required at your property, flooding can happen to anyone. Check out our top picks for cheap flood insurance policies to find coverage today.
Best for Flexible Flood Insurance Plans: State Farm
Looking for extensive coverage and solid support? State Farm is the way to go. State Farm provides flood insurance for both residential and commercial spaces. Its plans cover damages to your plumbing system, floor coverings and electrical.
You can also count on coverage for debris removal. State Farm is also an NFIP participant.
Best for In-Depth Flood Coverage: Allstate
Allstate also offers NFIP flood insurance policies. The company carries the NFIP’s building property and personal property (contents) plans. The NFIP recommends you purchase both plans.
Property outside your home, such as swimming pools or even trees, are not covered. Living expenses like temporary housing are also not included. If you’re interested in coverage for more than the NFIP’s maximum limits, talk to an Allstate agent.
Best for Competitive Premium: MetLife
MetLife offers versatile coverage and competitive premiums if saving money is your top priority.
MetLife’s policies are available across 3 categories: dwelling, which includes most residences, general property for apartments and commercial spaces and residential condominium building association coverage designed specifically for condos. MetLife’s coverage is also governed by the NFIP.
Best for Broader Coverage: Amica
Amica has great deals with broader coverage beyond the NFIP policy. Amica will cover replacement for possessions damaged in a flood and let you set limits that cover the full value of your home and belongings. Or you can still work with Amica to purchase the basic flood insurance policy through the NFIP.
What is Flood Insurance?
Flood insurance is best defined as a policy that safeguards against property damage and disruption of life due to floods. Unlike other insurance policies, it’s not a valued policy. In the event of a total loss, flood insurance will not pay the limit of liability.
The NFIP covers flooding caused by hurricanes and other natural or unavoidable reasons. The following factors are included under building coverage:
- The insured building and its foundation
- Electrical and plumbing systems
- Central air conditioning equipment, furnaces and water heaters
- Refrigerators, cooking stoves and built-in appliances such as dishwashers
- Permanently installed carpet over an unfinished floor
- Permanently installed paneling, wallboard, bookcases and cabinets
- Window blinds
- Debris removal
Contents coverage must be purchased separately. Contents included in the policy include:
- Personal belongings such as clothing, furniture and electronic equipment
- Portable and window air conditioners
- Portable microwave ovens and portable dishwashers
- Carpets not included in building coverage
- Clothes washers and dryers
- Food freezers and the food inside
- Certain valuable items such as original artwork and furs — up to $2,500
Neither the building nor contents coverage extends to damage below the lowest elevated floor — usually crawl spaces and basements.
Do You Need Flood Insurance?
The NFIP recommends all homeowners and renters secure flood insurance. In high-risk areas, there is at least a 1 in 4 chance of flooding during a 30-year mortgage.
Keep in mind that living in a low-risk area doesn’t mean you’re in the clear. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) reports that more than 20% of flood insurance claims are located outside of high-risk flood zones.
Many situations can result in flooding — heavy rain, severe storms, snowmelt, broken levees and clogged drains — and they can happen at any time, ranking them the most common natural disaster in the U.S. The cost of damages can pile up. According to the Insurance Information Institute, the average flood claim in 2021 was $44,401. A flood insurance policy can help foot the bill in the case of a disaster, especially because no other policy can cover rising floodwaters. Plus, you don’t want to become a statistic and try to recover without flood insurance.
Eliminate the Waiting Game
Don’t depend on a payout from FEMA if your home is hit by a flood. Federal assistance is only an option if an emergency is declared, and FEMA disaster grants often aren’t enough to cover the cost of repair and replacement.
Flood insurance covers physical damage against floods, even if it’s not a wide-scale disaster. Most policies can support a claim of up to $30,000, and you can count on support every step of the way. Protect your home and belongings — get a free quote today.
Frequently Asked Questions
I don’t live in a flood zone. Do I need flood insurance?
Yes. Everyone is at risk for flooding. Floods can happen anywhere, at any time. Residents who live in and outside of a high-risk area should know their risk and consider protection. Approximately 20% to 25% of all flood claims occur outside of high-risk areas, also known as Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs).
Why should I purchase a flood insurance policy since FEMA makes disaster assistance available after a flood?
Flood insurance claims are paid even if a disaster is not declared by the President. Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is only activated after a presidential disaster declaration. A flood insurance claim is your money. But if you receive disaster assistance funds, it will most likely be a loan that must be repaid with
interest. A flood insurance policy is also more cost-effective than relying on disaster assistance. The average cost of a $100,000 flood policy is a little more than $400 annually.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the National Flood Insurance Program?
The National Flood Insurance Program offers affordable flood insurance to homeowners, businesses and renters. It also helps communities to create and impose floodplain regulations.
What are some affordable flood insurance carriers?
The best companies include Allstate, State Farm and MetLife.