The cost of flood insurance in Massachusetts varies based on your exact location and individual property risks, such as your home's age, structure, design, elevation, replacement cost, repair cost and flood risk.
Flood damage caused by natural phenomena is not covered under homeowners or renters insurance policies. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) estimates that just one inch of water can cause $25,000 in damage.
There are multiple flood zones in Massachusetts. Even if you live in a low-risk flood zone, flood insurance may be a wise investment that could save you money in case of flood damage.
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A flood insurance policy in Massachusetts costs an average of $1,305 per year, which is higher than the national average of $767.
Flood insurance costs in Massachusetts vary by county and are also influenced by individual property risks, such as foundation type, building structure, elevation, replacement and repair costs, etc.
Flood insurance can be purchased through NFIP or from a private insurer. However, households are only eligible for $5,000 in federal disaster assistance, while private insurers can provide much more coverage.
Average Cost of Flood Insurance in Massachusetts
In Massachusetts, it costs an average of $1,305 per year to buy flood insurance. However, you may have to pay different rates for flood insurance depending on your county. In areas with moderate or high flood risk, flood insurance tends to be more expensive, and government-backed mortgages will require it. Besides flood risks, individual property characteristics also affect insurance costs.
Average Cost of Flood Insurance by County in Massachusetts
For flood insurance, Massachusetts has higher rates than the national average by about $538. Compared to some other states, Massachusetts has more high-risk flood zones, which may explain the relatively high rates.
Among Massachusetts counties, Suffolk County has the cheapest premiums at an average of $991, while Dukes County has the most expensive rates, averaging $1,999 per year. Check the table below to see the average flood insurance rates by county in Massachusetts.
Massachusetts Flood Insurance Cost Per County
Companies That Offer Flood Insurance in Massachusetts
Flood insurance is available from both the NFIP and private companies. With a private provider, you can choose between a base policy or an excess policy.
A base policy is similar to the NFIP's policy, which covers flood claims up to a certain amount. In contrast, an excess policy adds additional coverage to a base policy when the primary policy's limits have been reached.
A private provider is an excellent choice if you do not have sufficient coverage through the NFIP or live outside of the area covered by the NFIP.
Private Flood Insurance Providers in MA and Their Contact Numbers
Aon Private Flood
Hiscox - FloodPlus
FloodSimple Insurance Services
The NFIP has also partnered with Massachusetts-based insurance companies that offer flood insurance. To make things easier for you, MoneyGeek compiled a list of NFIP-participating insurance companies and their contact information.
NFIP-Participating Flood Insurance Providers in State and Their Contact Numbers
Allstate Insurance Company
American Commerce Ins. Co.
American Nat. Prop. & Casualty
American Strategic Ins. Corp.
Centauri Specialty Ins. Company
Concord Group Insurance
Refer to the Agent locator
Farm Family Casualty
How to Purchase Flood Insurance and Its Coverage Requirements
Purchasing flood insurance is easy and does not require any special requirements. Simply call the NFIP hotline at 877-336-2627 or speak with your home insurance agent. Since the NFIP has a 30-day waiting period, it's best to sign up as soon as possible.
If you choose not to use the NFIP, you may want to look into a private flood insurance provider. Massachusetts private insurers can impose a 10-day waiting period, so make sure you check with your provider.
What Does Flood Insurance Cover in Massachusetts?
A flood insurance policy covers both the building’s structure and its contents. Even an inch of water in your home can cause $25,000 in damages, so flood insurance can provide tremendous value at a reasonable cost.
Flood insurance provides coverage for water damage caused by natural phenomena or weather events. Thus, flood insurance can't cover flooding caused by leaking appliances, broken pipes or any other non-natural cause.
Generally, flood insurance covers only personal belongings and building structures. It does not cover flood damage to vehicles, documents, decks, landscaping or swimming pools.
Flood Insurance Building Coverage
When a covered peril damages the physical structure of your home, building coverage helps you fix or replace it. You can purchase coverage worth up to $250,000 through the NFIP.
The following are some of the things protected by the building coverage component of flood insurance:
- 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 belongings are damaged by a covered peril, contents coverage helps pay to repair or replace them. You can purchase coverage for up to $100,000 through the NFIP.
Some of the things that flood insurance can cover include:
- Electronic equipment
- Washers and dryers
Factors That Affect Flood Insurance Costs in Massachusetts
The only factor affecting flood insurance costs prior to October 2021 was whether you lived in a flood zone, and this is still a significant factor. If you want to know how floods have affected your state historically, you can visit the FEMA website.
The least flood-prone area in Massachusetts is Franklin County, which has experienced 50 flood events since 1996, while Barnstable County has experienced 110 flood events, the most in the state. In Franklin County, flood insurance costs an average of $1,163 per year, while the average flood insurance cost for Barnstable County is $1,471. Flood insurance is even more expensive in Dukes County ($1,999 per year), but this is likely due to the fact that this county consists of coastal islands.
Risk Rating 2.0
A new system of risk ratings was introduced by FEMA in October 2021. Along with flood zone mapping, the system evaluates individual property risks, such as foundation type, building structure, elevation and replacement and repair costs.
With Risk Rating 2.0, premiums are calculated in a more tailored way. Despite this, where you live still has a significant impact on flood insurance rates. Below are some of the factors that influence flood insurance costs in Massachusetts.
Flood risk is now assessed on an individual basis through Risk Rating 2.0. In other words, your neighbor's flood risk may be different from yours. In moderate- and high-risk flood zones, insurance premiums are typically higher than in low-risk zones.
Different coverage levels can result in different rates. Comprehensive coverage, for instance, will cost more than limited coverage. Your county also may affect what types of coverage are available to you.
A higher deductible can reduce your insurance premium. Your deductible can range between $1,000 and $10,000, which you will need to cover when filing a claim.
Age of Structure
The cost of insuring older structures is higher than that of insuring newer structures.
Your flood insurance rates can also be affected by the design and materials of your home.
Do You Need Flood Insurance in Massachusetts?
In moderate- and high-risk flood zones, government-backed mortgages and lenders require flood insurance. In low-risk flood zones, FEMA still recommends getting flood insurance as an additional precaution.
There is usually no flood coverage in a homeowners or renters policy, so you need a separate policy from the NFIP or a private insurer. Private flood insurance has its advantages. For instance, a presidential disaster declaration is not required for insurance providers to pay claims. In addition, federal disaster assistance grants are capped at $5,000 per household. Damages caused by floods can easily exceed that limit.
When you have flood insurance, you can have peace of mind knowing that your most valuable possessions are covered in case of a flood.
Frequently Asked Questions About Massachusetts Flood Insurance
We answered some of the most frequently asked questions about Massachusetts flood insurance to help you decide whether it is right for you.
About Mark Fitzpatrick
- FEMA. "Flood Insurance." Accessed August 17, 2022.
- FEMA. "Historical Flood Risk and Costs." Accessed August 17, 2022.