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If you live in a FEMA-designated high-risk flood zone in Maryland, you might need to purchase a flood insurance policy to satisfy your mortgage lender’s requirements. Even if you’re in a low-risk area, flood insurance protection can save you thousands if the unexpected does occur in your neighborhood.
Many homeowners realize too late that a standard homeowners insurance policy doesn’t cover flood damage.
While certain areas have higher risks than others, flooding can happen anywhere, which is why it’s important to understand how flood insurance works in your state, no matter where you live. That’s why home and auto insurance comparison app Jerry is here to tell you what you need to know about flood insurance in Maryland—what it is, what it covers, what it costs, and more.
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What is flood insurance?
Flood insurance is a type of property insurance that provides financial protection in the event of water damage that’s been caused by a flood.
While a standard homeowners insurance policy might cover water damage in certain cases, it’s rare for one to cover water damage when the source of water is from outside your home. For protection against flooding, you usually have to buy flood insurance separately.
Without flood insurance, your house and belongings could be at risk if they’re ever damaged by flooding.
What does flood insurance cover?
Generally speaking, flood insurance covers damage caused by flooding. There are two types of coverage when it comes to flood insurance: building coverage and contents coverage.
Building coverage covers your house, while contents coverage covers your personal belongings. In combination, these coverages can protect electrical and plumbing systems, appliances, detached garages, curtains, carpets, valuables like artwork, and more.
Flood insurance doesn’t cover everything, though, unfortunately. Flood insurance coverage won’t include items like septic systems, decks, fences, belongings kept in basements, currency, or vehicles (your car insurance will have to cover this one).
The cause of flooding will affect what your flood insurance will cover, too. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) defines flooding as “an excess of water on land that is normally dry, affecting two or more acres of land or two or more properties.”
If a sewer backup occurs in your home, for example, it’s only covered if a flood directly caused the backup.
Here’s a more in-depth look about what is and isn’t covered by each type of coverage:
|Type of coverage||What it covers||What it doesn’t cover|
|Building||Electrical and plumbing systems Water heaters and furnaces Appliances like dishwashers or refrigerators Permanently installed paneling, bookcases, and cabinets Permanently installed carpets Window blinds Foundational walls, staircases, and anchorages Detached garages Fuel tanks, solar panels, and well water tanks/pumps||Decks and patios Swimming pools and hot tubs Fences and landscaping Septic systems|
|Contents||Clothing Furniture Electronics Curtains Washing machines and dryers Portable air conditioners, including window units Carpets not included in building coverage Valuables (such as artwork) up to $2,500||Valuable papers, including stock certificates Currency Belongings stored in a basement Vehicles and their parts|
If you have concerns about specific items or structures being covered under flood insurance, contact your insurance agent.
Do you need flood insurance in Maryland?
There’s no legal requirement for you to have flood insurance in Maryland.
However, if you’re looking to get a federally-backed mortgage for a home in an area that has a moderate to high risk of flooding, you’ll need to have flood insurance. A private mortgage lender may also require you to have flood insurance protection.
You can find flood insurance through FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) or a private provider. The NFIP itself doesn’t provide flood insurance, but it can help you find a provider in your area.
To find a flood insurance policy backed by the NFIP, you’ll need to live in a participating Maryland community. If your community isn’t on the list, there are still private provider options available.
Even if your mortgage lender isn’t requiring you to buy flood insurance, that doesn’t necessarily mean you don’t need it. More than 40% of NFIP claims from 2014 to 2018 were outside of FEMA’s high-risk flood zone areas.
Even if you don’t own a home, there are flood insurance policies for renters that can still provide you vital contents coverage.
What flood zones require flood insurance in Maryland?
FEMA’s designated high-risk flood zones will begin with the letter A or V. These are properties with the highest risk of flooding that will be required to purchase flood insurance for a federally-backed mortgage.
Moderate- to low-risk flood zones are graded B, C, D, or X. However, this designation doesn’t mean your property’s immune to flooding—one in three flood insurance claims come from low- to moderate-risk areas.
To find out your property’s level of flood risk, you can view FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center or Flood Factor®.
Key Takeaway If you live in a designated high-risk flood zone (starting with A or V) and have a federally-backed mortgage, you’ll be required to purchase a flood insurance policy.
How much does flood insurance cost in Maryland?
Maryland’s average flood insurance premium costs about $622 per year, which is lower than the national average cost of flood insurance is $739 per year. In fact, Maryland is one of the cheapest states in the nation when it comes to buying flood insurance.
Changes are arriving when it comes to future flood insurance costs, however. In October 2021, FEMA instituted a new initiative called Risk Rating 2.0, which it says is aimed at more equitable flood insurance pricing.
To determine a property’s flood risk, Risk Rating 2.0 will look at factors like a property’s flood history, proximity to a water source, risks for different types of floods, elevation, soil type, and costs to rebuild.
The new pricing system went into effect for new policyholders on October 1, 2021, and for existing policyholders, that date is April 1, 2022.
In Maryland, 60% of flood insurance policyholders are expected to see a decrease in their flood insurance premiums.
Coverage limits for homeowners are $250,000 for building coverage and $100,000 for contents coverage. For renters, the limit for contents-only coverage is $100,000, and policies start at $99 per year. Your provider might also set a deductible limit on your policy.
How to save money on flood and auto insurance in Maryland
Even if you don’t live in an area with a high risk of flooding, flood insurance protection can save you thousands if a flood ever does occur in your neighborhood. You can reduce the cost of your flood insurance premium in Maryland by:
- Following FEMA’s recommended flood risk mitigation practices
- Choosing a higher deductible
- Giving your insurance agent an elevation certificate
- Choosing contents-only coverage
Make sure your car’s protected from flood damage with the right insurance, too! Jerry can help you with this. To get started, download the Jerry app. After answering a few questions, Jerry will show you personalized insurance quotes from top providers.
Jerry’s end-to-end support will help you find a new policy, set it up, and can even help you cancel your old policy. That support also includes answering your questions about coverage from flooding.
Getting started takes less than a minute, and Jerry users save an average of $887 per year on car insurance alone.
“I was struggling because I wanted great insurance for my new car. Jerry was so helpful, and the team answered all of my questions. Now I have the policy type I was looking for!” —Avery W.
Thousands of customers saved on average $887/year on their car insurance with Jerry
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