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Flood Insurance

Click to view the NFIP Flood Insurance Movie (Windows Media Player) (requires plug-in) - 1.35 MB


[Scenery: Single-family home sits in the dark with a tornado twisting in front of the home, the tornado disappears and lightning appears; lightning strikes the home; smoke is seen in the back of the home, followed by a volcanic fiery lava flow surrounding the home.]

Audio: 'Homeowners insurance covers all of this...'

[Scenery: The fire and volcanic lava dissipates, the sky begins to appear, then a wall of water rushes in to surround the home.]

Audio: '... but not this. Before a flood wipes you out, contact your insurance agent or call for your free brochures.'
Text:'Warning The #1 one disaster isn’t covered by homeowner’s insurance.'
Text caption: ' 1-888-FLOOD-25'

In 1968, the US Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Their intent was to reduce future damage and to provide protection for property owners from potential loses through an insurance mechanism that allows a premium to be paid by those most in need of the protection. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) produces Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRM) that shows areas subject to flooding. The flood risk information presented on the FIRM is based on historic, meteorological, hydrologic and hydraulic data, as well as open-space conditions, flood control works, and development.

Nearly 20,000 communities across the United States and its territories participate in the NFIP by adopting and enforcing floodplain management ordinances to reduce future flood damage. In exchange, the NFIP makes Federally backed flood insurance available to homeowners, renters, and business owners in these communities. Community participation in the NFIP is voluntary.

Flood insurance is an insurance policy required by mortgage lenders or insurance companies on real property located within a floodplain or special flood hazard area (SFHA) as determined by FEMA. All property owners whose real property lies within a SFHA as determined by FEMA are required to have flood insurance.

Flood insurance is designed to provide an alternative to disaster assistance to reduce the escalating costs of repairing damage to buildings and their contents caused by floods. Flood damage is reduced by nearly $1 billion a year through communities implementing sound floodplain management requirements and property owners purchasing of flood insurance. Additionally, buildings constructed in compliance with NFIP building standards suffer approximately 80 percent less damage annually than those not built in compliance. And, every $3 paid in flood insurance claims saves $1 in disaster assistance payments.

In addition to providing flood insurance and reducing flood damages through floodplain management regulations, the NFIP identifies and maps the Nation's floodplains. Mapping flood hazards creates broad-based awareness of the flood hazards and provides the data needed for floodplain management programs and to actuarially rate new construction for flood insurance. (Text at bottom reads "National Flood Insurance Program 1-888-724-6011")

For information in filing a claim see the FEMA web site. Click the link to "Tips for filing an insurance claim (Flood)".

Community Rating System

The National Flood Insurance Program's (NFIP) Community Rating System (CRS) is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes and encourages community floodplain management activities that exceed the minimum NFIP requirements. As a result, flood insurance premium rates are discounted to reflect the reduced flood risk resulting from the community actions meeting the three goals of the CRS: (1) reduce flood losses; (2) facilitate accurate insurance rating; and (3) promote the awareness of flood insurance.

For CRS participating communities, flood insurance premium rates are discounted in increments of 5%; i.e., a Class 1 community would receive a 45% premium discount, while a Class 9 community would receive a 5% discount (a Class 10 is not participating in the CRS and receives no discount). The CRS classes for local communities are based on 18 creditable activities, organized under four categories: (i) Public Information, (ii) Mapping and Regulations, (iii) Flood Damage Reduction, and (iv) Flood Preparedness.