Everything You Need to Know About Flood Insurance in North Carolina

North Carolina homeowners in a FEMA-designated high-risk flood zone must purchase flood insurance to receive a federally-backed loan.
Written by Caitlin McQuade
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Updated on Jun 01, 2022
North Carolina
homeowners in FEMA-designated high-risk flood zones who wish to take out a federally-backed mortgage loan must obtain flood insurance.
With 322 miles of ocean shoreline and severe weather throughout the state, North Carolina is no stranger to flooding. But only 5.36% of households in the state currently have flood insurance. This is probably because many do not realize flooding is not covered under standard homeowners insurance policies.
On average, a flood occurs in North Carolina every 7.5 days, so it’s important to be prepared. That’s why
home and car insurance
has compiled everything North Carolina homeowners need to know about flood insurance.
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What is flood insurance?

Flood insurance provides financial compensation for water-damaged items in the event of a flood.
Flooding is incredibly common during a natural disaster and often affects multiple properties across widespread areas. This is why most homeowners insurance policies don’t cover flooding. 
To protect your possessions after weather-related flooding, you’ll need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy. You can do this through a federal program or a private company. 

What does flood insurance cover?

Flood insurance is separated into two types of coverage: building coverage and contents coverage.
Building coverage insures structural damage and items like permanently installed carpets, cabinets, and larger appliances. Contents coverage is for smaller personal belongings such as electronics, clothing, and furniture.
Most belongings are covered by a combination of building and contents coverage, but there are a few exceptions, including all items stored in your basement. Here is a more comprehensive list detailing what is and is not covered under each type of insurance:
Type of coverage
What it covers
What it doesn’t cover
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
Clothing Furniture Electronics Curtains Washing machine and dryer Portable air conditioners, including window units Carpets not included in building coverage Valuables up to $2,500
Valuable papers Currency Items stored in a basement

Do you need flood insurance in North Carolina?

If you are a homeowner in a FEMA-designated high-risk zone and would like to take out a federally-backed loan, you’ll need flood insurance.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) runs the
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
, which offers flood insurance policies to homeowners in high-risk flood zones.  To see which communities in North Carolina are eligible to participate in NFIP, check out this
Although the policies are backed by FEMA, they are issued through private insurance companies like
If you live in a low-to-moderate-risk zone, your private lender may require you to purchase flood insurance. Plenty of homeowners located outside of FEMA-designated high-risk zones purchase flood insurance either due to private lender requirements or a desire to protect their property. 
Flood insurance is a good investment for all homeowners, not just people in high-risk zones. 

What flood zones require flood insurance in North Carolina?

Zones graded an A or V by FEMA are considered high-risk flood zones and will require flood insurance for borrowers with FHA or VA mortgages.
Flood insurance is not required in zones graded B, C, D, or X. However, individual lenders may still require flood insurance for homeowners in these zones.
Flood Map Service Center
Flood Factor®
will tell you the grade of your area.
Where is the flooding in North Carolina? While flooding can happen throughout the state, those situated along the coastline are particularly susceptible to floods.
Areas of particularly high flood risk include
, where 7% of all properties are at risk, and Wilmington, Virginia Beach, and New Bern, where a whopping 20% of properties are at risk.
Key Takeaway North Carolina homeowners in A and V-graded zones must purchase flood insurance to receive a federally-backed loan.

How much does flood insurance cost in North Carolina?

Currently, the average flood insurance cost in North Carolina is $733 per year or $61 per month. This is on par with the national average cost, which is $739 per year.
The NFIP recently instituted a new payment methodology called Risk Rating 2.0, which takes full effect on April 1, 2022. Under this new policy, 26% of current policies in North Carolina will see a price decrease, and 65% will see a slight increase under $10 per month. 
Also note that the federal government limits residential policyholders to $10,000 in contents coverage and $250,000 in building coverage.

How to save on flood and auto insurance in North Carolina

Here are some options for saving money on flood insurance in North Carolina:
Water damage to your car is not covered by flood insurance. For your car to be protected in the event of a flood you must purchase the right auto insurance policy.
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