Flood damage is not typically covered by homeowners' insurance policies, so it's important to purchase a separate flood insurance policy to protect your home or business. Just because you haven't experienced a flood in the past, doesn't mean you won't in the future.
If you live in a floodplain, your mortgage company may require you to buy flood insurance, however you can purchase it even if you don’t live within a flood zone. 1 in 4 flood insurance claims come from outside a floodplain.
Remember to plan early! There is a 30-day waiting period between when you buy the coverage and when it takes effect. When a storm is in the forecast, it’s too late to get a flood policy!
National Flood Insurance Program
The National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP for short, offers flood insurance, which can be purchased through the insurance agent who handles your homeowners' insurance policy. Rates are set and do not differ from company to company or agent to agent. These rates depend on many factors, which include the date and type of construction of your home, along with your building's level of risk.
NFIP flood insurance policies are available to homeowners, renters, condo owners/renters, and commercial owners/renters.
- The insured building and its foundation
- The electrical and plumbing systems
- Central air conditioning equipment, furnaces and water heaters
- Refrigerators, cooking stoves and built-in appliances such as dishwashers
- Permanently installed carpeting over unfinished flooring
- Clothing, furniture and electronic equipment
- Portable and window air conditioners
- Portable microwaves and dishwashers
- Carpeting that is not already included in property coverage
- Clothing washers and dryers
- Damage caused by moisture, mildew or mold that could have been avoided by the property owner
- Currency, precious metals and valuable papers such as stock certificates
- Property and belongings outside of an insured building such as trees, plants, wells, septic systems, walks, decks, patios, fences, seawalls, hot tubs and swimming pools
- Living expenses such as temporary housing
- Financial losses caused by business interruption or loss of use of insured property
- Most self-propelled vehicles such as cars, including their parts
Community Rating System
The National Flood Insurance Program's Community Rating System is a voluntary incentive program that recognizes communities for implementing floodplain management practices that exceed the federal minimum requirements of the NFIP to provide protection from flooding. In exchange for a community's proactive efforts to reduce flood risk, policyholders can receive reduced flood insurance premiums for buildings in the community. These reduced premiums reflect the reduced flood risk resulting from community efforts toward achieving the three CRS goals:
- Reduce flood damage to insurable property.
- Strengthen and support the insurance aspects of the NFIP.
- Encourage a comprehensive approach to floodplain management.
The Flood Control District of Maricopa County has participated in this program since 1991. Through the annual accreditation process, the District is now at Class 4, which gives residents of unincorporated Maricopa County up to a 30 percent discount on their flood insurance. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and local documentation is available at the Maricopa County’s Flood Control District and the Southwest Regional Library. Also, you can learn more about the NFIP and its Community Rating System at .