Flood Insurance Basics

In 1968, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in response to the rising cost of taxpayer funded disaster relief for flood victims and the increasing amount of damage caused by floods. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) manages the NFIP, and oversees the floodplain management and mapping components of the Program.

Nearly 20,000 communities across the United States and its territories participate in the NFIP by adopting and enforcing floodplain management ordinances to reduce future flood damage. In exchange, the NFIP makes Federally backed flood insurance available to homeowners, renters, and business owners in these communities.

Getting Started

Impacts of the National Flood Insurance Act of 2012

The National Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 will result in some BIG changes in flood insurance rates. These brochures are for Sandy recovery, but give good information about the national impacts of the new law.

Flood Insurance Questions and Answers

Who Can or Must Buy Flood Insurance?

  • Who CAN Purchase Flood Insurance? Answer
  • Can Renters purchase NFIP flood insurance? Answer
  • Who is REQUIRED to get flood insurance? Answer
  • Where do I buy NFIP flood insurance? Answer
  • How Much Flood Insurance Should I Buy? Answer

What Communities Participate? How Does a Community Get in the Program?

  • How do I find out whether my community is enrolled in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)? Answer
  • How Many Flood Insurance Policies are there in Minnesota? Answer
  • What are the effects of a community NOT participating in the NFIP? Answer
  • My community doesn't participate in the National Flood Insurance Program. Can I still get flood insurance? Answer

What Does Flood Insurance Cover?

  • Doesn't my Homeowners Policy cover flooding? Answer
  • Does NFIP flood insurance cover contents? Answer
  • Does NFIP flood insurance cover groundwater seepage? Answer
  • Can I get covered for landslides caused by heavy rainfall? Answer
  • Does NFIP Flood Insurance Cover Sewer Backups? Answer
  • What is the Deductible and Should I Consider a Higher Deductible? Answer
  • Does the NFIP flood insurance offer any type of basement coverage? Answer
  • It Will Cost Me Extra to Meet the Local Regulations When I Rebuild. Will NFIP Flood Insurance Cover That Cost? (Or What is Increased Cost of Compliance - ICC - Coverage?) Answer

Illustration of What is Covered by Flood Insurance PDF icon.

Cost of Flood Insurance

  • How Much Does Flood Insurance Cost? Answer

FEMA Map Update-Related Questions

  • My county is getting a new FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Map (FIRM). How will that affect me? Answer

What's My Risk? Should I Get Flood Insurance?

  • How can I find out the level of flood risk on my property? Answer
  • Can't I just get disaster assistance if a flood occurs? Answer

Levee-Related Questions

  • My property is protected by a levee. Does this mean that I don't need flood insurance? Answer

More Information

DNR Floodplain Management Information Sheets

FEMA FloodSmart

  • www.floodsmart.gov external site
    (FEMA Web site with extensive information about flood insurance coverage, costs, agents, etc.)

National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)

Minnesota Department of Commerce

Wisconsin Office of the Commissioner of Insurance