Everything You Need to Know About Flood Insurance in Idaho

Flood insurance is not legally required in Idaho, but mortgage lenders may require you to purchase it if you live in a known flood zone.
Written by Andrew Biro
Reviewed by Melanie Reiff
Updated on Jun 01, 2022
You will only be required to purchase flood insurance in
if you live in a high-risk flood zone (as designated by FEMA) and have a federally-backed mortgage loan. At a statewide level, this means roughly 16% of all properties require the homeowner to purchase flood insurance.
Though the risk for flooding in Idaho is only moderate, nearly 160,400 properties in the state have a 26% or greater chance of flooding in the next 30 years. Your traditional homeowners policy won’t provide coverage for external flooding, meaning you’ll need to purchase a separate insurance plan if you intend on protecting your home from flood-related damages.
Like homeowners insurance, navigating the ins and outs of flood insurance can be confusing, especially for first-time homeowners—that’s why licensed home and
auto insurance
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has compiled everything you need to know about flood insurance in Idaho. 
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What is flood insurance?

As the name suggests, flood insurance refers to a specialized insurance policy (separate from that of a homeowners policy) that provides coverage for your home and personal belongings in the event of damage or loss due to external flooding.
A standard homeowners insurance policy may include coverage for water damage resulting from a burst or blocked pipe. Flood insurance protects most of your property in the event of a weather-related flood, including excessive rainfall, storm surges, a reservoir or dam breach, and snowmelt flash flooding.

What does flood insurance cover?

In general, there are two types of flood insurance coverage: building coverage and contents coverage. Building coverage provides protection for the structure of your home itself, while contents coverage protects your personal belongings.
Put together, these coverages will provide protection for furniture, electrical and heating systems, carpets, jewelry, electronics, and more. They will not, however, cover lost money, flood damage to a car, or personal belongings located in a basement.
To get a better idea of what each insurance type covers, refer to the chart below:
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 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 Idaho?

At a statewide level, no. Idaho state law does not require homeowners to purchase flood insurance, but mortgage lenders may require you to purchase it in order to protect their investment in your home if your property faces sufficient risk.
If you live in a Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA) and have a federally-backed mortgage (such as an FHA or VA loan), you will be required to purchase flood insurance.
As flood protection is not covered under any homeowners insurance policies, you will have to purchase a separate flood insurance policy through FEMA’s
National Flood Insurance Program
(NFIP) or a private program like Neptune.
You can still purchase NFIP-backed flood insurance even if you don’t live in an area with a high risk for flooding—the only requirement is that you reside in one of Idaho’s NFIP-participating communities (refer to this
compiled by FEMA).

Which flood zones require flood insurance in Idaho?

In accordance with federal mandates, all zones having a 26% or greater chance of flooding over the course of a 30-year mortgage are considered to be high-risk. All homeowners living therein will have to purchase flood insurance. 
You’ll know you reside in a high-risk zone if you live in an area whose FEMA-designated letter grade starts with A or V.
If your home is located in an area graded as B, C, D, or X, you have a lesser chance of experiencing significant flood damage and will not be required to purchase flood insurance.
If you’re unsure of which zone grade your home is located in, refer to FEMA’s
Flood Map Service Center
Key Takeaway You will likely be required by your mortgage lender to purchase flood insurance if you live in a FEMA-designated high-risk flooding zone. These zones encompass roughly 16% of all properties in the state of Idaho.

How much does flood insurance cost in Idaho?

On average, flood insurance in Idaho will cost homeowners $784 a year, or roughly $65 per month, which is more or less on par with the national average of $750.
The actual cost of your flood insurance will depend on a number of factors, with the most influential being the age of the property, the type and size of buildings covered, and the physical location of the home.
There are also coverage limits to keep in mind: residential customers should expect buildings coverage to max out at $250,000 and contents coverage to max out at $100,000. You may also have a deductible limit, depending on your insurance provider.

How to save money on flood and auto insurance

Even though the price of flood insurance in Idaho is already on the lower side, there are a few ways you can reduce that cost even further:
If you’ve just bought a new home and are considering buying flood insurance, you’ll need to make sure your vehicle is adequately protected from potential flood damage as well.
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