Everything You Need to Know About Flood Insurance in Vermont

Vermont homeowners are required to buy flood insurance if their home is located in a FEMA-designated floodplain.
Written by Kara Vanderbeek
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Vermont
homeowners are required to have flood insurance if they have a mortgage on a home located in the FEMA-mapped floodplain, even if their community doesn’t participate in the National Flood Insurance Program. 
Snowmelts, ice jams, and lake overflows are the chief causes of flooding in Vermont, with the Lake Champlain region being particularly vulnerable to damages. Unfortunately, many homeowners are unaware that standard homeowners insurance policies
won’t cover damage caused by flooding
and are unprepared when a crisis hits.
To protect your home from flooding, you will need to purchase a separate flood insurance policy. To provide you with all the information you need to protect your home,
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has created this guide to flood insurance in Vermont.
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What is flood insurance?

Flood insurance covers damage to your home and personal property resulting from a weather-related flood. 
While standard homeowners insurance policies may cover water damages due to a burst or frozen pipe, you must purchase a separate flood insurance policy to protect your house and belongings from damages due to natural disaster-related floods.
According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a flood is defined as an excess of water on land that is usually dry, affecting two or more acres or multiple properties.

What does flood insurance cover?

Flood insurance includes coverage for your building, or the structure of your home, and your contents, or personal belongings. 
Under building coverage, you can expect furnaces, plumbing and electric systems, kitchen appliances, and cabinets to be protected, while contents coverage will cover items such as electronics, clothing, jewelry, and furniture.
Keep in mind that flood insurance will only cover losses that were a direct result of a weather-related flood and will not cover items such as cars, landscaping outside of the property, valuable papers, and additional living expenses incurred as the result of a flood. Items stored in basements are also not covered.
For a detailed outline of what is covered under each type of insurance, refer to the table below:
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 Vermont?

The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides flood insurance to homeowners based on their risk level through the
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)
.
However, only those in NFIP participating communities can purchase an NFIP-backed policy. If you’re unsure of your hometown’s participation status, check out this
list of participating communities
in Vermont.
Regardless of a community’s participation in the NFIP, Vermont homeowners are required to purchase flood insurance if their home is located in the FEMA-mapped floodplain
If your community does not participate in the NFIP, you can still purchase flood insurance through a private insurance company, such as Neptune.
Keep in mind that there are no restrictions on who can purchase flood insurance. Flood insurance is a good investment for any homeowner, particularly if your home is close to any body of water or has a history of flooding.

What flood zones require flood insurance in Vermont?

To keep track of geographical flood risks, FEMA created a series of Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs). 
Low- to moderate-risk zones are designated on FIRMs with a B, C, or X. High-risk zones, where flood insurance is required in the state, are identified by an A or V
While those living in low- to moderate-risk zones are not required to have flood insurance, it is still highly recommended that most homeowners have coverage in place.
To find out your home’s risk of flooding, use FEMA’s
Flood Map Service Center
or
Flood Factor®
.
Key Takeaway If you have a mortgage on a home in a FEMA-mapped floodplain, you must purchase flood insurance in Vermont. 

How much does flood insurance cost in Vermont?

Flood insurance in Vermont costs an average of $1,590 per year or $132 per month through the NFIP.
Beginning in April 2022, the NFIP’s new Risk Rating 2.0 methodology may cause these numbers to change. The new methodology will use the risk of each property to calculate the cost of insurance. 
Under this new system, the monthly cost of flood insurance will increase for 67% of Vermont homeowners, while the other 33% will pay less.

How to save money on flood and auto insurance in Vermont 

While flood insurance rates may be increasing for the majority of the Vermont population, you can save money on your policy using the following tips: 
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