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Flood Education

Flood Insurance 101

By now, you probably know that only flood insurance covers flood damage, but you probably don't know all of the details. Here are some basic concepts you need to know:

Insurance Agent

Flood insurance can only be purchased through an insurance agent; you cannot buy it directly from the federal government.

Insurance Agent

As with any other type of insurance, it's important to know what your policy does and doesn't cover. For example, damage caused by a sewer backup is only covered by flood insurance if it's a direct result of flooding. The damage is not covered if the backup is caused by some other problem. For a complete summary of coverage, go to What's Covered.


Deductibles apply separately to building and contents with different amounts to choose from. Like other insurance plans, a higher deductible will lower the premium you pay, but will also reduce your claim payment. Your mortgage lender may also set a maximum amount for your deductible.

Mandatory Requirements

Homes and businesses with mortgages from federally regulated or insured lenders in high-risk flood areas are required to have flood insurance. While flood insurance is not federally required if you live in a moderate-to-low risk flood area, it is still available and strongly recommended.

30-Day Waiting Period

There is a 30-day waiting period from date of purchase before a new flood policy goes into effect. Here are the only exceptions:

  • If your lender requires flood insurance in connection with the making, increasing, extending, or renewing of your loan.
  • If an additional amount of insurance is required as a result of a map revision.
  • If an additional amount of insurance is being obtained in connection with the renewal of a policy.


Payment must be made for the full year's premium. The National Flood Insurance Program accepts checks, money orders and credit card payments (American Express, Diners Club, Discover Card, Master Card or Visa). Coverage will not be effective until full payment is received.