Flood damages aren’t typically covered by homeowners and renters insurance. Nonetheless, flooding is a threat in most locations, so getting flood insurance is strongly recommended to protect your home and personal property.
This is especially true in Montana, where various counties are moderate- and high-risk flood zones. It’s strongly advisable to get a flood insurance policy if you’re living in the state since just an inch of water can cost up to $25,000 in damages, based on data from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
Aside from your location, your coverage preferences and individual property risk factors affect your flood insurance prices. This may include your house’s structure, elevation, replacement costs and flood frequency.
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The cost of flood insurance for you is hugely dependent on your location and how frequently flooding happens there.
It’s possible to buy flood insurance from the NFIP and private insurers. Generally, an excess policy from private companies is recommended if the NFIP’s base policy is insufficient for your needs.
By having a flood insurance policy, you protect your house’s structure and its contents from damages caused by natural flooding.
Average Cost of Flood Insurance in Montana
Flood insurance in Montana costs approximately $903 per year, but the amount for you may vary according to your location. Your premium prices are determined based on your proximity to flood-prone locations and your individual property risks. Generally, living in a moderate- or high-risk flood area will result in more expensive insurance prices.
Average Cost of Flood Insurance by County in Montana
Flood insurance in Montana is $136 pricier than the national average. The state’s higher number of high-risk flood zones compared to other states is one reason why.
MoneyGeek evaluated the average cost of flood insurance in Montana’s counties. Based on our research, Treasure County has the cheapest rates at approximately $415 per year, while Glacier County has the highest premiums at around $5,340 per year.
Montana Flood Insurance Cost per County
BIG HORN COUNTY
Companies That Offer Flood Insurance in Montana
Montana residents may purchase flood insurance from the NFIP or a private insurance company. Choosing the latter gives you the option between:
- Base policy: Flood insurance with similar coverage to an NFIP policy.
- Excess policy: Flood insurance with supplemental coverage on top of the base policy.
We recommend that you buy from private insurers if you’re living in a community that isn’t served by the NFIP or if NFIP coverage is not enough for your needs.
Private Flood Insurance Providers in MT and Their Contact Numbers
Aon Private Flood
Hiscox - FloodPlus
FloodSimple Insurance Services
The NFIP has partnered with Montana insurance companies in providing flood insurance to the state’s residents. We compiled a list of NFIP-participating insurance companies in the table below.
NFIP-Participating Flood Insurance Providers in State and Their Contact Numbers
Allstate Insurance Company
American Nat. Prop. & Casualty
American Strategic Ins. Corp.
Farmers Insurance Group
Hartford Fire Insurance Co.
Hartford Underwriters Ins. Co.
Homesite Insurance Company
How to Purchase Flood Insurance and Its Coverage Requirements
It’s relatively simple to buy flood insurance in Montana since you don’t need to meet any special requirements. You can call the NFIP hotline at 877-336-2627, your home insurance agent or other flood insurance companies to get started on finding a policy.
We suggest that you buy a flood insurance policy as soon as possible. If you get one from the NFIP, you’ll have to wait 30 days before it becomes active, while private companies typically feature a 10-day waiting period. Reach out to your insurance provider to find out how long your actual waiting time is.
What Does Flood Insurance Cover in Montana?
A typical flood insurance policy will protect both your home’s structure and your belongings inside. Keep in mind that just one inch of water can lead to $25,000 in flood damages.
While flood insurance covers damages caused by natural flooding, it doesn’t cover floods caused by broken pipes, leaking appliances and other unnatural water damages.
Normally, a flood insurance policy covers your home’s structure and the contents inside. However, flood insurance doesn’t extend to swimming pools, decks, patios, landscaping, cash, paperwork, basement items or vehicles.
Flood Insurance Building Coverage
Building coverage is usually a part of a flood insurance policy, and it covers damages to your house’s physical structure.
You can buy up to $250,000 in building coverage from the NFIP, which extends to the following items:
- Foundation walls
- Electrical systems
- Plumbing systems
- Furnaces, central heating and air conditioning
- Built-in appliances
- Permanent carpets
- Built-in furniture
Flood Insurance Contents Coverage
A standard flood insurance policy has contents coverage, an insurance product that protects your personal belongings. This covers your:
- Electronic equipment
- Washers and dryers
The NFIP lets you buy up to $100,000 in contents coverage.
Factors That Affect Flood Insurance Costs in Montana
Prior to October 2021, the only factor used to determine your flood insurance rates was your proximity to a flood zone (based on the flood map). Although that’s no longer the situation, you can still find your area’s historical flood risk using FEMA’s website.
According to FEMA’s data for Montana, Valley County has had the most flooding events (65) in the state since 1996. Meanwhile, Liberty County has had just one, which is the least in the state. Based on MoneyGeek’s research, the annual cost of flood insurance for these counties is $1,029 and $1,857, respectively. It’s very unusual to see costs in a highly flood-prone area to be so much cheaper than average premiums in a county where floods hardly ever happen — this is a rare exception to the rule.
Even though Valley County has Montana’s most flooding events, it isn’t the most expensive location in the state. In fact, its insurance costs are significantly cheaper than Liberty County, which has only experienced one flood since 1996. This may be due in part to Valley County’s size, which spreads out flooding events over a large area.
Risk Rating 2.0
Beginning in October 2021, FEMA introduced Risk Rating 2.0. This new rating system allows fairer flood insurance pricing by assessing individual factors and not just relying on a broad flood map.
To evaluate your flood insurance premium, Risk Rating 2.0 factors your house’s:
- Foundation type
- Dwelling structure
- Replacement and repair costs
- Frequency of flooding
- Proximity to bodies of water
We broke down other notable flood insurance cost factors in the table below. Despite the use of Risk Rating 2.0, your location still has a strong effect on your premium prices.
Thanks to Risk Rating 2.0, FEMA now determines flood risk on an individual basis. Because of this, you and your neighbor may have different flood risks even though you’re living in the same area. Still, if you’re in a low-risk flood zone, you’ll have more affordable rates compared to someone in a moderate- or high-risk area.
The coverage type you choose will impact the cost of your flood insurance. Buying a more comprehensive policy is generally more expensive than getting a baseline policy.
Typically, you may choose a deductible amount from $1,000 to $10,000. Having a higher deductible may result in lower premiums, but you’ll have to pay more out-of-pocket if you file a claim.
Age of Structure
The age of your house also affects your premium prices. Generally, living in an older house will result in higher rates than residing in a newer building.
Your house’s design and materials are also a factor in your flood insurance premiums. Having a more elaborate design and expensive-to-replace materials will cause your insurance rates to go up.
Do You Need Flood Insurance in Montana?
Homeowners and renters insurance don’t cover flood damages, yet every kind of property is vulnerable to flooding. As such, it may be a good idea for you to purchase a flood insurance policy.
FEMA recommends flood insurance as an added protection, even for people living in low- and moderate-risk flood locations. People in high-risk flood areas are typically required by government-backed mortgage lenders to get flood insurance.
In case of a flood, you can get a loan or a grant of up to $5,000 per household from a federal assistance package. However, a flood insurance policy will cover much more than that and pay claims even without a presidential disaster declaration.
Buying flood insurance not only protects your home and property but will also give you invaluable peace of mind.
Frequently Asked Questions About Montana Flood Insurance
It’s easy to buy flood insurance since you don’t need to meet special requirements to get it. To help you understand the topic, MoneyGeek answered some commonly asked questions about flood insurance in Montana.
About Mark Fitzpatrick
- FEMA. "Flood Insurance." Accessed August 23, 2022.
- FEMA. "Historical Flood Risk and Costs." Accessed August 26, 2022.