Is Flood Insurance Expensive?

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According to the National Flood Insurance Program flood cost estimate tool, a 2-inch flood in a 1,000 square-foot home would cost the homeowner $10,670 to make repairs and replace lost items. The same flood in a 2,000 square-foot home would cost $21,000. Flooring replacement, whether wood or carpet, comprises the majority of this cost. Depending on the flood zone your home lies within, insurance to cover those losses starts at $119 per year. Insurance for a renter covering only the contents of a home starts at $39 per year.

High Risk Zones

You will have higher flood insurance premiums if your property lies within a high- or coastal high-risk zone, the A and V zone groups, respectively. The coastal high risk zone costs the greatest to insure since it incurs risk from both flood waters and tidal surge. High-risk zones incur ongoing risk of flooding due to location in the base of a floodplain or close proximity to a flood control system, such a levee or dam.

Low- to Moderate-Risk Zones

Many homes in low- and moderate-risk flood zones qualify for preferred premium rates. These are the least costly homes to insure. Low- to moderate-risk zones include B, C and X. Land in these areas lies between the limits of the 100- and 500-year floodplain or outside the 500-year floodplain. Some areas may experience ponding or localized drainage problems.

Coverage Types

NFIP offers three levels of coverage: building and contents, building only or contents only. The combined coverage policy covers both building repair or reconstruction and replacement of the home's contents. NFIP also offers the coverages separately. For instance, a renter would only want to cover the property's contents. Combined coverage policies cost more and each has its own deductible. The standard deductible is $2,000 ($1,000 for the building, $1,000 for the contents).


The minimum premium for a coastal high-risk zone home for a policy covering both building and contents costs $585 annually. That covers the home for $35,000 and the contents for $10,000. The same policy in a high-risk zone costs $477. A standard rated policy in a low- to moderate-risk zone costs $439, but homes that qualify for the preferred rate cost between $150 to $201 annually to insure.

Cost Estimate Tool

The NFIP provides an online premium estimate tool, the One-Step Flood Risk Profile. Enter the street address, city, state and ZIP code of the property and whether it is residential. The results tell you in what flood zone the property resides, provide premium estimates for each level of coverage and generates a list of local insurance agents.