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In Nebraska, if you live in a high-risk flood zone (as designated by FEMA), you may be required to purchase separate flood insurance to comply with your mortgage lender’s coverage requirements.
Conventional homeowners insurance policies do not include damage caused by flooding. The effects of flooding are far-reaching and can damage or decimate your home. Approximately 90% of all natural disasters in the US involve flooding, making it one of the biggest hazards homeowners face
Even so, according to the Insurance Information Institute (III), a mere 27% of US homeowners purchase flood insurance. Many people don’t realize flood damage isn’t included as part of their standard home insurance—until it’s too late.
As weather patterns continue to change, it’s important to understand your state’s requirements for flood insurance. That’s why home and auto insurance comparison app Jerry created this guide to getting flood insurance in Nebraska.
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What is flood insurance?
Flood insurance is a specific type of property insurance that covers financial losses resulting from damage caused by flooding.
While a standard insurance policy typically covers water damage caused by plumbing failures, it does not provide coverage if your house or belongings are damaged in a flood. This is why purchasing a separate flood insurance policy can be vital.
What does flood insurance cover?
Flood insurance consists of two types of coverage: building coverage, which refers to the structure itself, and contents coverage, which includes your personal belongings.
Combined, these coverages provide financial reimbursement for the affected structure, as well as appliances, flooring, furniture, electronics, jewelry or other valuables, electrical and heating systems, and more.
Flood insurance does not protect every object in your home—or every type of flooding.
For example, sewage backups not directly caused by large-scale flooding (defined as two or more acres or multiple properties) aren’t covered. Nor does flood insurance cover real money, vehicles, personal property located in basements, or emergency living costs incurred as a result of a flood.
Here’s a more detailed breakdown of what’s covered (and what isn’t) under each type of insurance:
|Type of coverage||What it covers||What it doesn’t cover|
|Building||Electrical and plumbing systems Water heaters and furnaces Large appliances like dishwashers or refrigerators Permanently installed bookcases, cabinets, and paneling 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 Fences and landscaping|
|Contents||Clothing Furniture Electronic equipment Curtains Washing machine and dryer Portable air conditioners, including window units Carpets not included in building coverage Valuables such as artwork up to $2,500||Valuable papers Currency Anything stored in a basement|
Do you need flood insurance in Nebraska?
The short answer: possibly.
While there is no federal or statewide requirement that all homeowners purchase flood insurance, flood insurance is a requirement if you have a federally-backed mortgage on a house in a designated high-risk area.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA, determines flood level risk across the U.S. FEMA oversees the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which provides flood insurance to homeowners based on their area’s assigned level of risk.
If you are a Nebraska homeowner living in an area at moderate-to-high risk of flooding, your mortgage lender will likely require you to purchase flood insurance in addition to your standard homeowners policy.
While you find a policy through the NFIP, the actual policy will be underwritten by a private company, such as Allstate or Farmers.
Anyone can buy flood insurance, not just people residing in high-risk areas—and this is a good idea no matter where you live. In fact, more than 40% of NFIP claims are filed by homeowners outside of FEMA’s designated high-risk flood zones.
Currently, only 1.7% of Nebraska homeowners carry flood insurance—but every homeowner stands to benefit from this extra protection. The 2019 Nebraska floods devastated many communities in the eastern half of the state and caused an estimated $3.4 billion in damages.
To buy an NFIP-backed flood insurance policy, you must reside in one of Nebraska’s participating communities (here’s a helpful list from FEMA). If you don’t see your hometown on this list, you can still purchase flood insurance through a private company such as Neptune or FloodSimple.
What flood zones require flood insurance in Nebraska?
Federal flood insurance purchasing requirements apply to Nebraska homeowners whose property lies in a flood zone with a letter grade starting with A or V. These zones have a 26% chance of flooding over the course of the 30-year mortgage.
On the other hand, if you live in a flood zone graded B, C, D, or X, your flood risk is lower—but not nonexistent—and flood insurance coverage isn’t required.
You can use FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center or Flood Factor® to determine the level of risk for your home and property.
Key Takeaway If you live in a FEMA-designated high-risk flood zone (starting with A or V) and have a government-backed mortgage, you are required to carry flood insurance. Every homeowner stands to benefit from flood insurance, however.
How much does flood insurance cost in Nebraska?
The national average cost of flood insurance is $739 per year, but Nebraska’s average flood insurance premium is somewhat higher at $1,050 per year ($81 per month).
In October 2021, the NFIP established a new pricing methodology called Risk Rating 2.0. Beginning April 2022, about 23% of flood insurance premiums nationwide will drop.
About 43% of Nebraska policies will see a decrease in rates, while 45% will see an increase of up to $10 a month. Five percent will experience increases up to $20 more per month, and another 7% of policies will increase more than $20 per month.
The NFIP limits coverage for residential customers to $250,000 for building coverage and $100,000 for contents coverage. Your provider may also set a deductible limit on your policy.
Therefore, the final cost of your flood insurance policy will depend on multiple factors such as your location, the size and type of building you’re covering, the age of the property, and more.
How to save money on flood and auto insurance in Nebraska
To reduce the cost of flood insurance in Nebraska, you can:
- Follow FEMA’s recommended flood risk mitigation practices
- Choose a higher deductible
- Submit an elevation certificate to your insurance agent
- Choose contents-only coverage
When you shop for flood insurance, keep in mind that it doesn’t cover damage to cars. To make sure your vehicle is protected in the event of a flood, make sure that you have the right car insurance policy—and Jerry can help.
Our insurance gurus will find you quotes from up to 50 top insurance providers, and you’ll receive end-to-end support if you decide to register for a new policy.
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