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Recommended Training from

To promote Flood Safety Awareness, FEMA's Emergency Management Institute (EMI) has developed a series of training programs to encourage flood safety. This guide provides readers with an easy way to identify and access self-paced courses designed for people who have emergency management responsibilities and the general public.

Interactive Flood Risk Resources

For more information about floods, risk of financial loss due to flooding, and flood insurance check out (from


Press Room from

As a leader in public information response to emergency situations, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has developed this valuable tool designed to assist your efforts to educate and inform communities about the importance of flood insurance coverage.

National Flood Fact Sheets


To apply for assistance:

Federal Emergency Management Agency

FEMA Customer service 800-621-3362

Call TTY (800) 462-7585 for people with speech or hearing disabilities.

Status of application (800) 621-FEMA

Report a false damage claim:

Understanding the National Flood Insurance Program &

Flood Rates


File Your Claim

FEMA Flood Maps


Residential Flood Insurance

by William F. Schaake, CIC, CRM

Why is it important to maintain flood insurance?

According to FEMA the following applies to flooding and flood damage claims:  

The average flood claim amounted to almost $ 30,000 between 2007 to 2011.  20% of all flood claims come from areas that are not considered high risk. There is at least a 25% chance of flooding in high risk areas over a 30 year period.  

What is Flooding?

A flood can occur anywhere it rains, where the water table is high, nearby rivers and other waterways, in the valleys between hills and mountains, and of course near coastal areas susceptible to hurricanes and other types of storms.  In essence, a flood may occur anywhere throughout the United States.  

The definition of a flood by NFIP is as follows:

A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or of two or more properties (at least one of which is the policyholder's property) from one of the following:

Insurance carriers often define flooding by the Insurance Service Office (ISO) definition and by exclusions in the policy.  Most residential home and renters insurance exclude damage caused by flooding, rising tides, seepage, migration of water whether wind driven or not, overflow or backup of sewers and drains, and water coming in from the outside either through the foundation, walls, floors, etc. that is not the result of breakage or a covered cause of loss.  See the exclusions of your homeowners or renters insurance policy for the full list of exclusions and the ISO definition.  

How is Flood Insurance Sold?  

Almost 90 private insurance carriers offer flood insurance to property owners and tenants through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).  

This program provides coverage for the building structure as well as the contents within the building.  Each part is sold separately and has maximum limits.  

Rates are based on the elevation of the property based on the FEMA maps and are subject to a 30 day waiting period from the time of purchase for the coverage to commence.  

Preferred Risk Policy Eligibility Extension

For Property Owners and Renters

Flood maps are changing as the assessment of flood risks changes due to community development, aging flood control structures, natural changes to topography, and better technology. The NFIP wants to ease the transition for property owners who have been newly mapped into a high-risk flood zone and the mandatory flood insurance purchase requirements that go along with map changes. If your property was newly mapped into a high-risk flood zone on or after October 1, 2008, you may be eligible for the lower-cost Preferred Risk Policy for up to 2 years.

A consumer fact sheet was developed to provide you with important information on this new rating option.  

For questions, or to determine eligibility, please contact your insurance agent or local community official.



For more policy and claim statistics, visit the National Flood Insurance Program.


What is Flood Insurance?

RESOURCES:  Flood Facts from

Flood Insurance

Standard homeowners and renters insurance does not cover flood damage. Flood coverage, however, is available in the form of a separate policy both from the National Flood Insurance Program - NFIP (888-379-9531) and from a few private insurers.

The NFIP provides coverage for up to $250,000 for the structure of the home and $100,000 for personal possessions. The NFIP policy provides replacement cost coverage for the structure of your home, but only actual cash value coverage for your possessions. Replacement cost coverage pays to rebuild your home as it was before the damage. Actual cash value is replacement cost coverage minus depreciation so that the older your possessions are, the less you will get if they are damaged. There may also be limits on coverage for furniture and other belongings stored in your basement.

Flood insurance is available for renters as well as homeowners. You will need flood insurance if you live in a designated flood zone. But flooding can also occur in inland areas and away from major rivers. Consider buying a flood insurance policy if your house could be flooded by melting snow, an overflowing creek or pond or water running down a steep hill. Don’t wait for a flood season warning on the evening news to buy a policy—there is a 30-day waiting period before the coverage takes effect.

Excess flood insurance is also available from some private insurers for those who need additional insurance protection over and above the basic policy or whose community does not participate in the NFIP. Depending on the amount of coverage purchased, an excess flood insurance policy will cover damage above the limits of the federal program on the same basis as the federal program—replacement cost for the structure and actual cash value for the contents.

Excess flood insurance is available in all parts of the country—in high risk flood zones along the coast and close to major rivers as well as in areas of lower risk—wherever the federal program is available. It can be purchased from specialized companies through independent insurance agents, or from regular homeowners insurance companies that have arrangements with a specialized insurer to provide coverage to their policyholders.

To find out whether private primary flood insurance is available in your area, contact your insurance agent.

Source:  The Insurance Information Institute

About the National Flood Insurance Program:  Coverage from the NFIP

Building Versus Contents Coverage

Flood insurance protects two types of insurable property: building and contents. The first covers your building, the latter covers your possessions; neither covers the land they occupy.

Building coverage includes:

Contents coverage includes:

The two most common reimbursement methods for flood claims are : Replacement Cost Value (RCV) and Actual Cash Value (ACV). The RCV is the cost to replace damaged property. It is reimbursable to owners of single-family, primary residences insured to within 80% of the buildings replacement cost.

All other buildings and personal property (i.e. contents) are valued at ACV. The ACV is the RCV at the time of loss minus physical depreciation. Personal property is always valued using the ACV.

Use the Summary of Coverage (PDF 108K) for more details on what's covered.