Everything You Need to Know About Flood Insurance in Arkansas

Arkansas homeowners in high-risk flood zones designed by FEMA must purchase flood insurance to receive a federally-backed mortgage.
Written by Natalie Todoroff
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
buildings located in FEMA-designated high flood zone areas must have flood insurance to receive a mortgage from a regulated or federally-insured lender. 
In 2018, Arkansas endured
more floods than any other state
, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). If you’re an Arkansas homeowner, your home is twice as likely to be damaged by a flood as it is a fire. 
Fires are a
named peril
on your homeowners insurance—but floods are not. To be financially protected against potential flood damage, you will need to purchase an additional flood insurance policy. 
Between 2010 and 2018, there was an estimated
$17 billion worth of flood damage
across the United States. And with increasingly unpredictable weather patterns cropping up, now is the time to brush up on your Flood Insurance 101. Car and
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has laid out everything you need to know about getting flood insurance in Arkansas.      
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What is flood insurance? 

Flood insurance is a special type of property insurance that protects you from financial damage to your home caused by flooding. 
Your standard homeowners insurance policy will cover a whole host of everyday water-related issues, like a burst pipe or leaky faucet. However, to be covered for flood damage, you must purchase an additional flood insurance policy—something many homeowners are not aware of until it is too late! 

What does flood insurance cover? 

Not every type of flood will be covered by a flood insurance policy, nor will every object in your home be protected in the event of a flood. Flood insurance will not cover sewer backups not caused by large-scale flooding. The following items will also not be covered by flood insurance:
  • Personal property in basements 
  • Money
  • Vehicles 
  • Additional living expenses if you need to relocate due to a flood 
There are two main kinds of flood insurance policies: building coverage and contents coverage. Building coverage will protect the physical structure and dwelling, while contents coverage is for your personal belongings (but keep the aforementioned exclusions in mind). 
It can be a little tricky to know the exact ins and outs of your flood insurance coverage. Here is more info about what is included and excluded from a standard flood insurance policy: 
Type of coverage
What it covers
What it doesn’t cover
Plumbing and electrical systems
Water heaters and furnaces

Do you need flood insurance in Arkansas?

As we mentioned earlier, Arkansas experiences quite a bit of flooding,  so it’s a good idea to have flood insurance. But, is there a legal requirement? Technically no, but your mortgage lender will require you to purchase it if you’re in a higher-risk area
Many private insurance providers participate in the
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
, which is overseen by FEMA. FEMA determines an area’s level of risk and offers flood insurance coverage commensurate with the risk.
Many counties
in Arkansas offer NFIP-backed flood insurance policies. 
Even if you’re not in a high-risk zone, you can still purchase flood insurance! A flood can threaten not only your home but your financial stability as well. Think about it this way: just one inch of flood damage can do up to
$25,000 in damage
to your home! Can you even imagine what six inches, a foot, or more could do? 

What flood zones require flood insurance in Arkansas?

To know which flood zones require flood insurance in Arkansas, you’ll first have to know a little bit about how FEMA maps flood zones. 
FEMA creates Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) that indicate the flood risk level of a particular area. High-risk areas are called Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs) and are labeled as zones A, AE, AH, AO, or AR. If you’re in one of these areas, you will need to have flood insurance to comply with federally-backed mortgage requirements. 
Websites like
Flood Factor®
and FEMA’s 
Flood Map Service Center
can show you which zone you’re in and whether or not you’re required to purchase flood insurance.  
Key Takeaway If you have a government-backed mortgage or live in a high-risk flood zone, you’ll need to purchase flood insurance. 

How much does flood insurance cost in Arkansas?

Flood insurance in Arkansas will cost you, on average, $933 annually or $78 monthly. This is slightly above the national average of $739 per year
There is some news, though. In October 2021, the NFIP introduced
Risk Rating 2.0
, a new and more equitable way to determine the prices of flood insurance. Under this new methodology, 96% of Arkansas homeowners premiums will increase or decrease by $20 or less per month.  

How to save money on flood and auto insurance in Arkansas 

We know we’ve thrown a lot of statistics and figures at you, but perhaps this one is the most shocking: 33% of homes in Arkansas are at a higher than average risk for flood damage, but less than 2% of Arkansas homeowners have flood insurance! 
If you’re looking to save money on the cost of flood insurance in Arkansas, consider:
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