Flood Insurance

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Standard homeowners insurance does not cover property damage, loss or clean-up costs resulting from flooding, it is important to have protection from the floods associated with heavy rains and other flood conditions that may impact our city. In 1968, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to help provide a means for property owners to financially protect themselves. The NFIP is the sole provider of policies to repair damage to buildings (structures) and to compensate owners and renters for loss of contents (personal property) caused by floods. It is important to know that if you have a federally backed mortgage on a home located in a high-risk area, federal law requires you to purchase flood insurance. For voluntary policies, there is a 30-day waiting period from the time a new insurance policy is purchased to when it actually goes into effect. Guilford County is a participating community in the NFIP, which makes federally backed insurance available to all buildings, regardless of whether or not they are in a high-risk area.

The NFIP offers flood insurance to homeowners, renters, and business owners if their community participates in the NFIP. Participating communities agree to adopt and enforce ordinances that meet or exceed FEMA requirements to reduce the risk of flooding. On March 21, 2014, President Obama signed the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 into law. This law repeals and modifies certain provisions of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act, which was enacted in 2012. FEMA will continue to identify and publish special flood hazards and flood risk zones as authorized and required by Congress.   A number of factors are considered when determining your flood insurance premium. These factors include: the amount and type of coverage being purchased, location and flood zone, and the design and age of your structure. For homes in high-risk areas (e.g., Special Flood Hazard Areas or AE, VE Zones) built after the first Flood Insurance Rate Maps were drawn for that community, the elevation of the building in relation to the base flood elevation is also required.

To obtain flood insurance, please visit your local insurance agent: NFIP Flood Insurance Information






The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides federally backed flood insurance within communities that enact and enforce floodplain regulations. Since its inception in 1968, the NFIP has been very successful in helping flood victims get back on their feet. As of October 2013, there were 5.5 million residential and commercial policies in force, with over $1.28 trillion in written coverage with annual premiums of about $3.8 billion. From 1978 through October 2013, over 2 million losses were paid, totaling over $50 billion.

To be covered by a flood insurance policy (for the structure and/or its contents), a property must be in a community that participates in the NFIP. To qualify for the NFIP, a community adopts and enforces a floodplain management ordinance to regulate development in flood hazard areas. The objective of the ordinance is to minimize the potential for flood damage to future development. Today, over 21,600 communities in 56 states and territories participate in the NFIP. The NFIP has been effective in requiring new buildings to be protected from damage by a 1% chance flood, also known as the 100-year or base flood. However, flood damage still results from floods that exceed the base flood, from flooding in unmapped areas, and from flooding that affects buildings constructed before the community joined the NFIP.

Under the Community Rating System (CRS), communities can be rewarded for doing more than simply regulating construction of new buildings to the minimum national standards. Under the CRS, the flood insurance premiums of a community’s residents and businesses are discounted to reflect that community’s work to reduce flood damage to existing buildings, manage development in areas not mapped by the NFIP, protect new buildings beyond the minimum NFIP protection level, preserve and/or restore natural functions of floodplains, help insurance agents obtain flood data, and help people obtain flood insurance.


The goals of the NFIP are to provide flood insurance to property owners, to encourage flood loss reduction activities by communities, and to save taxpayers’ money. As a part of the NFIP, the CRS provides both incentives and tools to further these goals. The CRS recognizes, encourages, and rewards—by the use of flood insurance premium adjustments—community and state activities that go beyond the minimum required by the NFIP to

  • Reduce and avoid flood damage to insurable property,
  • Strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the NFIP, and
  • Foster comprehensive floodplain management.