How Much Is Flood Insurance in California? Average Flood Insurance Cost and Coverage


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Updated: May 22, 2024

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Since flood damage is typically not covered by homeowners and renters insurance, you might end up with a hefty bill to repair flood-related damages. The cost of flood insurance varies depending on numerous factors like your home’s location or foundation type.

Since California has numerous high-risk flood zones, you should check a local flood map to find out if your property is at risk. Those who live in a moderate-risk or high-risk flood zone should strongly consider purchasing flood insurance. According to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), an inch of water can cost up to $25,000 in repairs.


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The average flood insurance cost in California is $909 per year.

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California has numerous areas that are at high or medium risk for floods.

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Private insurance companies in California can have a 10-day waiting period.

Average Cost of Flood Insurance in California

According to MoneyGeek’s findings, the average flood insurance cost in California is $909 per year. Factors that impact the cost of flood insurance include general factors, like the number of flood-prone areas in your state, as well as individual property risks, like your home’s foundation type. In general, places that have plenty of moderate-risk or high-risk flood zones tend to charge higher premiums.

Average Cost of Flood Insurance by County in California

The cost of flood insurance in California is around $142 higher than the national average since there are more flood-prone areas in California compared to other states.

In California, flood insurance costs the most in Imperial County, with an average figure of $2,247 per year. Meanwhile, the lowest flood insurance rates in California can be found in Alpine County, with an average cost of $304 per year. The list below indicates the cost of flood insurance by county in California.

California Flood Insurance Cost per County
ADAMS COUNTYAverage Cost$1,116
ALEXANDER COUNTYAverage Cost$1,043
BOND COUNTYAverage Cost$867
BOONE COUNTYAverage Cost$907
BROWN COUNTYAverage Cost$927
BUREAU COUNTYAverage Cost$1,605
CALHOUN COUNTYAverage Cost$708
CARROLL COUNTYAverage Cost$1,601

Companies That Offer Flood Insurance in California

Homeowners can purchase flood insurance from the NFIP or a private company. Purchasing flood insurance from a private company is best for households that are not part of an NFIP community or those that need more coverage than what NFIP offers. Private providers typically offer a base policy, which includes similar coverage to a policy provided by the NFIP, with the option to add additional coverage, called an excess policy.

Private Flood Insurance Providers in CA and Their Contact Numbers
Company
Contact

Neptune Flood

727-202-4815

Aon Private Flood

888-281-0684

Hiscox - FloodPlus

866-283-7545

FloodSimple Insurance Services

844-803-8788

Chubb

866-324-8222

The NFIP has partnerships with some insurance providers that offer flood insurance. The table below provides their contact details and company information.

NFIP-Participating Flood Insurance Providers in State and Their Contact Numbers
Company
Contact

Allstate Insurance Company

(800) 527-2634

American Commerce Ins. Co.

(800) 562-4517

American Nat. Prop. & Casualty

(417) 887-4990

American Strategic Ins. Corp.

(866) 274-8765

Assurant

(800) 423-4403

CSAA Insurance Exchange

(888) 222-0094

Farmers Insurance Group

(866) 865-2965

Hartford Fire Insurance Co.

(860) 547-7440

How to Purchase Flood Insurance and Its Coverage Requirements

Buying flood insurance is easy. To obtain flood insurance, simply contact the NFIP Hotline at 877-336-2627, connect with your home insurance agent or reach out to another flood insurance provider.

Ideally, you should obtain coverage as soon as possible since the NFIP has a 30-day waiting period. Private insurance companies in California can also have a 10-day waiting period, so it’s best to contact your chosen provider to confirm.

What Does Flood Insurance Cover in California?

Flood insurance covers the cost of damage to buildings and their contents. Since an inch of water can cause $25,000 in damages, investing in flood insurance saves you money.

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MONEYGEEK EXPERT TIP

Flood insurance only covers the cost of damage caused by weather or natural events, not damage related to burst pipes or leaking appliances.

Typically, flood insurance doesn’t cover swimming pools, decks, patios or landscaping outside your home. It also doesn’t cover cash, paperwork and vehicles. However, a comprehensive insurance policy covers vehicle flooding.

Flood Insurance Building Coverage

If your home is damaged by a covered cause, flood insurance building coverage can help cover the cost of repairs or replacement to your home. You can obtain up to $250,000 worth of coverage from the NFIP.

Building coverage extends to the following items in the event of damage:

  • Foundation walls
  • Electrical systems
  • Plumbing systems
  • Furnaces, central heating and air conditioning
  • Built-in appliances
  • Permanent carpets
  • Built-in furniture

Flood Insurance Contents Coverage

If your personal belongings are damaged by a covered peril, contents coverage can cover the cost of repair or the replacement of items. You can purchase up to $100,000 worth of coverage through the NFIP.

Flood insurance contents coverage may apply to the following items:

  • Clothing
  • Furniture
  • Electronic equipment
  • Washers and dryers
  • Artwork

Factors That Affect Flood Insurance Costs in California

Prior to October 2021, your location on FEMA’s flood map impacted the cost of your flood insurance. You can check FEMA’s website to view the historical flood risk of your state.

In California, San Bernardino County has the highest number of flood events, with 370 recorded since 1996. However, its average cost of flood insurance is $1,179, lower than the highest in the state, Imperial County, at $2,247. Based on differences in county size, flood events may be more concentrated in Imperial County than San Bernardino. Alpine has the lowest average cost of flood insurance, at $304 per year, and the fewest recorded floods.

Risk Rating 2.0

To make premiums more fair, FEMA introduced Risk Rating 2.0 in October 2021, which changed flood insurance rates to reflect individual property risks instead of solely referencing the number of flood events across an area. Individual factors that impact the cost of your risk rating include:

  • Foundation type
  • Dwelling structure
  • Elevation
  • Replacement and repair costs
  • Frequency of flooding
  • Proximity to bodies of water

Your location can also heavily influence the cost of your flood insurance premium, along with the key factors listed in the table below.

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    Flood Risk

    Flood risk is assigned on an individual basis. In addition, those who live in a moderate-risk or high-risk flood zone may have to pay higher premiums than those who live in a low-risk flood zone.

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    Coverage Type

    Depending on the amount of coverage you get, such as comprehensive or limited, your cost may vary. Costs can also vary depending on your state and county.

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    Deductible

    Your deductible will be between $1,000 and $10,000. A higher deductible can lower the cost of your premium. However, you’ll have to pay this when filing a claim.

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    Age of Structure

    Since they are more prone to flood damage, older structures may cost more to insure compared to newer buildings.

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    Structure Design

    How your home is designed and the materials it is made out of can also impact your flood insurance rates.

Do You Need Flood Insurance in California?

Regardless of where you live, flood insurance can be a smart investment for possible damages to your home and belongings. For those who live in a high-risk flood zone, lenders and government-backed mortgages require you to buy flood insurance. Although it isn’t legally required for those in a low-risk or moderate-risk flood zone, FEMA still recommends buying flood insurance.

It’s important to note that homeowners' and renters' insurance doesn’t cover flood insurance. While federal disaster assistance can cover up to $5,000 per household, flood insurance provides significantly more benefits. For instance, it covers claims without a presidential disaster declaration.

Frequently Asked Questions About California Flood Insurance

If you’re still unsure about whether to get flood insurance, MoneyGeek put together some questions and answers regarding coverage and flood insurance costs in California.

What is the average cost of flood insurance in California?
Which companies offer flood insurance in California?
What kind of damage does flood insurance cover?
What affects flood insurance rates in California?

About Mark Fitzpatrick


Mark Fitzpatrick headshot

Mark Fitzpatrick has analyzed the property and casualty insurance market for over five years, conducting original research and creating personalized content for every kind of buyer. Currently, he leads P&C insurance content production at MoneyGeek. Fitzpatrick has been quoted in several insurance-related publications, including CNBC, NBC News and Mashable.

Fitzpatrick earned a master’s degree in economics and international relations from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree from Boston College. He is passionate about using his knowledge of economics and insurance to bring transparency around financial topics and help others feel confident in their money moves.