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Mississippi homeowners who live in FEMA-designated high-risk flood zones may be required by their lenders to purchase a separate flood insurance policy. Due to the Mississippi River’s presence, many areas in the state are prone to flooding.
Many homeowners assume that their home insurance policy covers floods. However, standard policies do not cover damage from flooding. According to the Insurance Information Institute, only 27% of homeowners have flood insurance, and many erroneously believe they are covered.
Understanding your area’s climate and your state’s policies on flood insurance will help you avoid large repair bills. That’s why home and car insurance app Jerry has compiled everything Mississippi homeowners need to know about purchasing flood insurance.
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What is flood insurance?
Flood insurance is a type of property insurance that covers financial damage to property and belongings in the event of a flood.
Because flooding is a common occurrence in larger-scale natural disasters, insurance lenders consider it too big a risk to cover in typical home insurance policies.
While your policy may cover some water damage to belongings resulting from a leaking pipe, it won’t cover items damaged by, say, a river flood.
What does flood insurance cover?
There are two types of flood insurance:
- Building insurance covers damage to the property itself. Things like electrical and heating systems and structural repairs are covered here.
- Contents insurance covers damage to personal belongings. Items such as furniture, jewelry, small appliances, and more may be covered by contents insurance.
Not everything you own will be covered in the event of a flood. For instance, flood damage to your car requires car insurance comprehensive coverage.
Also, not every type of flood is covered. Flood insurance policies will often exclude coverage from a basement flood due to a sump pump malfunction.
Here’s a summary of what is and isn’t covered by a typical flood insurance policy:
|Type of coverage||What it covers||What it doesn’t cover|
|Building insurance||Plumbing and electrical systems Cabinets, paneling, and bookcases that are permanently installed Water heaters and furnaces Dishwashers, refrigerators, and other large appliances Permanently installed carpets Window blinds Staircases Foundational walls and anchorages Fuel tanks, solar panels, and well tanks/pumps||Fences and landscaping Swimming pools Decks and patios|
|Content insurance||Clothes Furniture Electronics Curtains Rugs and carpets Washer and dryer Air conditioning units Valuables up to $2500||Money Valuable papers Personal belongings stored in a basement|
Do you need flood insurance in Mississippi?
It depends! While there is no state requirement by law, those in a high-risk flood zone must purchase flood insurance if they wish to obtain a federally-backed mortgage loan.
Your mortgage lender may have their own requirements about flood insurance if you live in a moderate-risk area as well.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) provides flood insurance to high-risk communities through its National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Here is a list of participating communities. The policies provided are backed by NFIP, but are underwritten by private companies like Allstate.
Those located in high-to-moderate-risk zones should consider purchasing flood insurance even if they are not required to. You do not have to live in a FEMA-designated high-risk zone to purchase coverage—40% of flood insurance policy owners do not.
What flood zones require flood insurance in Mississippi?
Those living in a flood zone with the letter grade A or V must purchase flood insurance to qualify for a federally-backed mortgage. Those in areas graded B, C, D, or X are not required to purchase a flood insurance policy.
Mississippi flooding is a common occurrence. Homeowners in certain areas have seen massive flooding in previous hurricane seasons. In Jackson County, 14% of all properties are at risk. Other areas at a higher risk of flooding include Gulfport, Biloxi, and Pascagoula.
Key Takeaway Homeowners in a flood zone graded A or V are required to purchase flood insurance if they hold a government-backed mortgage.
How much does flood insurance cost in Mississippi?
The average yearly cost of flood insurance in Mississippi is $801, or about $67 per month. This is a bit higher than the national average, which is $739 per year.
However, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) recently instituted their Risk Rating 2.0, a new pricing methodology aimed at creating equitable rates based on more accurate flood risk zoning. Policies renewing after April 1, 2022, will be subject to the new pricing.
For Mississippi, this new policy means that 16% of current policies will see a price decrease, and 84% will see a slight increase. Flood insurance premium rates depend largely on the flood risk factor in your area. This varies widely throughout the state.
Other factors that impact the cost of flood insurance include the age of your property, the size and type of building you’re covering, and more. The national limits for residential coverage are $250,000 for building coverage and $100,000 for belongings.
How to save money on flood and auto insurance in Mississippi
Here are a few tips for saving money on flood insurance in Mississippi:
- Reduce your risk of flooding by following FEMA’s recommended flood risk mitigation practices
- Choose a high-deductible plan
- Focus on your belongings with content insurance only
- Submit an elevation certificate to your provider
It’s important to note that your car is not covered by flood insurance. To make sure your car is covered in the event of a flood, you will need the right auto insurance.
Jerry makes finding cheap car insurance easy. Simply download the app, answer a few questions, and compare quotes from the top insurance providers in your area.
Those who use Jerry save an average of $887 a year on car insurance.
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