Your Guide to Flood Insurance in New York

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New York homeowners in FEMA-designated high-risk zones must purchase flood insurance to qualify for a federally-backed mortgage loan.
Many New York properties, especially those along the coastline, are prone to severe weather that causes flooding. 
As sea levels rise, it’s increasingly important for New Yorkers to stay informed and protect themselves in the event of a flood. That’s why home and car insurance comparison app Jerry has created this guide to flood insurance in New York—when to get it, how much it will cost, and tips for saving money on your policy.
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What is flood insurance?

Flood insurance covers financial damage to your property in the event of a weather-related flood. Many may not realize that flood insurance is completely separate from homeowners insurance. 
Standard home insurance does not cover flooding. Because flooding is a common occurrence during natural disasters and affects multiple properties at one time, providers consider it too big a risk.

What does flood insurance cover?

A flood insurance policy offers up to two types of coverage. Building coverage covers structural damage, waterlogged plumbing and electric systems, and large appliances. Contents coverage covers smaller personal belongings such as clothes, furniture, and electronics.
Certain items are excluded from either type of coverage, including swimming pools, valuable papers, and all items stored in basements.
Here is a more comprehensive look at what each type of insurance covers:
Type of coverageWhat it coversWhat it doesn’t cover
BuildingElectrical 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/pumpsDecks and patios Swimming pools Fences and landscaping
ContentsClothing 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 $2,500Valuable papers Currency Anything stored in a basement

Do you need flood insurance in New York?

Whether you need flood insurance in New York depends on where you live and what type of mortgage you have.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has created a zoning system that classifies areas based on their risk of flooding. If you wish to qualify for a federally-backed mortgage and live within a FEMA-designated high-risk zone, you must purchase flood insurance.
FEMA offers flood insurance to those living in high-risk zones through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). While overseen by FEMA, the individual plans come from private insurers like Allstate or Farmers.
 This list outlines which communities in New York are eligible to participate in NFIP.
However, you do not have to live in a FEMA-designated high-risk zone to purchase flood insurance. It is often a good idea for those in moderate-risk zones to purchase flood insurance, as a substantial number of flood insurance claims come from people outside of high-risk areas.
If you aren’t eligible for an NFIP policy, you can work with a private provider like Neptune. 

What flood zones require flood insurance in New York?

Areas designated as A and V are considered high-risk zones. Homeowners in these areas who wish to obtain federally-backed loans must purchase flood insurance.
Homeowners in low-to-moderate-risk zones, graded B, C, D, or X, are not required to purchase flood insurance. However, private lenders may require flood insurance for these areas as well.
FEMA’s Flood Map Service Center or Flood Factor® can help you identify your level of flood risk.
In NYC, 14% of properties are at risk of flooding. The city’s coastline is 520 miles long, and rising sea levels and severe weather have made floods a common occurrence.
Key Takeaway Homeowners in zones graded A and V are required to purchase flood insurance to obtain a federally-backed mortgage.

How much does flood insurance cost in New York?

The average cost of flood insurance in New York is $1,242 per year or $103 per month. This is well above the national average of $739 per year. 
However, under NFIP’s new Risk Rating 2.0 methodology, 34% of New York flood insurance policies are expected to see a price decrease after April 1, 2022.
Premium prices vary widely throughout the state. Places like New York City and Long Island pull the average cost up due to high property values and high flood risk in those areas. 
The exact cost of your insurance depends on factors like your location, the age and size of your property, and more. 
Note that residential policyholders are covered up to $250,000 for building damage and $10,000 for contents damage. 

How to save on flood and auto insurance in New York

There are a few ways to save on flood insurance in New York:

It’s important to remember that your car is not covered by flood insurance. To protect your car in the event of a flood you must purchase an auto insurance plan.

Super app Jerry makes finding cheap car insurance easy. Simply download the app, answer a few questions, and compare quotes from top insurance providers in your area. 
Those who switch insurance plans with Jerry save an average of $887 per year.
“I was nervous to buy insurance for my first car because I had heard horror stories about the insurance prices in New York. After not even two minutes, I found four quotes from Jerry under $125/month. By the end of the night, I was on the road safe and insured!” —Reuben R.
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