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Flood insurance facts and statistics

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides federally-backed flood insurance protection to home owners, renters and business owners. Flood insurance is available in communities that take steps to reduce the risk of rising waters and property damage through sound floodplain management policies. In exchange for these safeguards, people in flood-prone regions are eligible to purchase flood insurance. An estimated 5.5 million households participate in NFIP, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

The NFIP provides up to $250,000 of insurance coverage for the structure of a home and $100,000 of personal property coverage. With damage costs on the rise and home construction expenses increasing, a basic flood insurance policy may fall short of the needs of some home owners. As a result, insurance companies have introduced "excess coverage" policies, which offer more extensive coverage than basic flood insurance. These policies are also available to those who do not live in an NFIP-participating community. In addition to "excess coverage," some insurers offer specialized insurance for high-value homes that may be used to augment existing coverage on a basic flood insurance policy, or to cover property in a non-coastal area.

Although flood insurance policies are provided by the federal government, policies can purchased through private insurance agents or insurance companies. As of July 2010, 87 insurance companies were participating in the federal 'Write-Your-Own' Program, in which private insurers manage policies and claims on behalf of the federal government.

In 2011 FEMA reported an average flood insurance premium of $570 per year. Residents of low-to-moderate risk areas could be eligible for Preferred Risk Policies starting as low as $129 per year. The average flood claim in 2009 was $25,317, down from $46,130 in 2008, according to the Insurance Information Institute.

National Flood Insurance Program, 1995-2010

Losses Paid

Calendar Year

Policies in force at end of year

Number Paid

Amount

1995

3,476,829

62,441

$1,295,578

1996

3,693,076

52,677

$828,037

1997

4,102,416

30,338

$519,537

1998

4,235,138

57,349

$886,347

1999

4,329,985

47,247

$754,971

2000

4,369,087

16,362

$251,721

2001

4,458,470

43,589

$1,277,002

2002

4,519,799

25,312

$433,644

2003

4,565,491

36,838

$780,507

2004

4,667,446

55,826

$2,232,051

2005

4,962,011

212,897

$17,714,793

2006

5,514,895

24,595

$640,671

2007

5,655,919

23,132

$612,395

2008

5,684,275

74,300

$3,452,271

2009

5,700,235

30,839

$773,065

2010

5,646,735

27,923

$727,877

Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency.

 

Flood Insurance in the United States, 2009

Total NFIP & Write-Your-Own Policies In-force

State

Number of policies

Insurance in force
($ millions)

Alabama

56,321

 $11,177.90

Alaska

2,856

 $628.60

Arizona

35,265

 $7,607.30

Arkansas

18,720

 $2,384.20

California

276,222

 $67,864.50

Colorado

19,324

 $4,189.80

Connecticut

37,304

 $8,278.30

Delaware

24,679

 $5,768.20

D.C.

1,490

 $252.40

Florida

2,145,713

 $473,690.70

Georgia

96,017

 $22,224.10

Hawaii

58,689

 $11,376.40

Idaho

7,020

 $1,536.80

Illinois

47,800

 $7,724.10

Indiana

32,344

 $4,837.20

Iowa

15,436

 $2,287.70

Kansas

12,667

 $1,875.80

Kentucky

23,176

 $3,041.90

Louisiana

483,966

 $104,151.50

Maine

8,883

 $1,806.10

Maryland

68,233

 $14,027.10

Massachusetts

51,349

 $11,270.70

Michigan

25,665

 $4,025.10

Minnesota

10,852

 $2,169.90

Mississippi

76,494

 $15,644.00

Missouri

25,066

 $3,815.90

Montana

4,175

 $711.60

Nebraska

11,934

 $1,739.00

Nevada

15,754

 $3,705.60

New Hampshire

9,010

 $1,682.90

New Jersey

228,757

 $49,903.60

New Mexico

16,484

 $2,739.90

New York

162,058

 $37,701.60

North Carolina

136,023

 $30,709.70

North Dakota

13,305

 $2,779.60

Ohio

40,783

 $6,097.00

Oklahoma

16,519

 $2,493.20

Oregon

32,432

 $6,952.60

Pennsylvania

66,898

 $11,600.50

Rhode Island

15,170

 $3,572.10

South Carolina

202,218

 $46,776.60

South Dakota

4,307

 $765.60

Tennessee

25,249

 $4,933.80

Texas

683,456

 $157,513.60

Utah

4,181

 $944.30

Vermont

3,624

 $ 634.10

Virginia

108,572

 $25,306.90

Washington

57,714

 $12,805.70

West Virginia

21,548

 $2,465.50

Wisconsin

16,085

 $2,573.90

Wyoming

2,645

 $500.80

American Samoa

289

 $8.60

Guam

296

 $54.00

Puerto Rico

63,661

 $5,581.30

Virgin Islands

2,457

 $356.10

United States

5,627,158

 $1,217,266.80

Source: U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Federal Emergency Management Agency.

 

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