Homeowners and renters insurance don’t cover flood insurance. Instead, you need to contact the NFIP or a private insurer to get coverage. How much you’ll pay will depend on your location and individual property risks, like dwelling structure, elevation and flood frequency.
Although North Carolina doesn’t have many high-risk flood zones, homeowners are still encouraged to get flood insurance. An inch of flood water can cost up to $25,000 in damages, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
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The average cost of flood insurance in North Carolina is $20 cheaper than the national average.
Aside from the NFIP, you can purchase flood insurance in North Carolina from private companies.
Since 1996, Clay County has had the least flooding events (six) in North Carolina, while Wake County has had the most (132).
Average Cost of Flood Insurance in North Carolina
The cost of flood insurance in North Carolina averages $747 per year. However, rates may differ depending on individual property risks and how flood-prone an area is. Typically, those within moderate-risk or high-risk flood zones have higher premiums.
Average Cost of Flood Insurance by County in North Carolina
Flood insurance in North Carolina is $20 cheaper than the national average. This may be because there are fewer flood-prone areas in the state.
MoneyGeek discovered that flood insurance is the least expensive in Hall County ($254 per year) and most expensive in Wilkes County ($2,330 per year). Review the table below to see the average rates in other North Carolina counties.
North Carolina Flood Insurance Cost per County
Companies That Offer Flood Insurance in North Carolina
North Carolinians can purchase flood insurance from the NFIP or a private company. With private insurers, you can get a base policy (similar to NFIP coverage) or an excess policy (supplemental coverage for a base policy). They are usually ideal for households outside an NFIP community and those that find NFIP coverage insufficient.
Private Flood Insurance Providers in NC and Their Contact Numbers
Aon Private Flood
Hiscox - FloodPlus
FloodSimple Insurance Services
The NFIP also has partner insurance companies in North Carolina that provide flood insurance coverage. See the table below for the complete list of NFIP-participating insurance providers in the state.
NFIP-Participating Flood Insurance Providers in State and Their Contact Numbers
Allstate Insurance Company
American Strategic Ins. Corp.
Auto Owners Insurance Co.
Refer to the Agent locator
Bankers Insurance Group, DBA: First Community Insurance Company
Centauri Specialty Ins. Company
Everett Cash Mutual Ins. Co.
Farmers Insurance Group
How to Purchase Flood Insurance and Its Coverage Requirements
It’s usually easy to buy flood insurance since there are no special requirements. You can get started by calling the NFIP hotline at 877-336-2627 or your home insurance agent.
It’s advisable to purchase a policy as soon as possible because the NFIP has a 30-day waiting period. Meanwhile, private insurance companies in North Carolina have a waiting period of 10 days or more. Contact your provider to confirm.
What Does Flood Insurance Cover in North Carolina?
Flood insurance typically covers damages to your building structure and belongings. Without coverage, you could face $25,000 in flood damage from just an inch of water in your house.
When it comes to flood insurance, it’s important to remember that a “flood” refers to damage created by a weather event, not due to broken pipes or leaky appliances.
Standard flood insurance only covers building structures and personal belongings. It won’t provide coverage for vehicle flooding, swimming pools, decks, patios, landscaping, cash, paperwork or basement items.
Flood Insurance Building Coverage
One part of standard flood insurance is building coverage, which helps cover the cost of repairing or replacing your home structure. With an NFIP policy, you can purchase up to $250,000 in building coverage.
Note that building coverage can cover damages to the physical structure of your home, including:
- Foundation walls
- Electrical systems
- Plumbing systems
- Furnaces, central heating and air conditioning
- Built-in appliances
- Permanent carpets
- Built-in furniture
Flood Insurance Contents Coverage
Contents coverage is the other part of standard flood insurance. This pays for the damages to your personal belongings. NFIP policyholders can purchase up to $100,000 in contents coverage.
With this, the following items are protected:
- Electronic equipment
- Washers and dryers
Factors That Affect Flood Insurance Costs in North Carolina
Previously, insurance companies used your proximity to a flood zone to determine the cost of flood insurance. FEMA has an online tool on its website for viewing the historical flood risk of U.S. counties by state.
In North Carolina, Clay County has had the least flooding events since 1996 (six), while Wake County has had the most (132). The average cost of flood insurance in these two counties is $744 and $805 per year, respectively. It’s worth noting that Wake County doesn’t have the most expensive premiums for flood insurance. This may be because flood events are more spread out over the area.
Risk Rating 2.0
In October 2021, FEMA introduced a new pricing methodology for flood insurance (Risk Rating 2.0). Compared to the older system, Risk Rating 2.0 takes individual factors into consideration, including foundation type, dwelling structure, elevation, replacement and repair costs, flood frequency and distance to a body of water.
Because it doesn’t only consider flood zone proximity, Risk Rating 2.0 delivers fairer premiums. However, where you live can still heavily impact your flood insurance costs. The list below further breaks down the factors affecting the cost of flood insurance.
Living within a moderate- or high-risk flood zone can get you higher premiums. However, Risk Rating 2.0 also evaluates individual property risks. This means you may have a different rate from your neighbor.
Your coverage level also affects the cost of flood insurance. For instance, the more comprehensive coverage you get, the more expensive your premiums will be. Coverage options may vary based on your North Carolina county.
Having a higher deductible can get you a lower monthly premium, but you’ll be responsible for paying this amount when you file a claim. Deductibles usually range between $1,000 and $10,000.
Age of Structure
The age of your home plays a role in your flood insurance costs. Older structures are usually more expensive to insure than newer homes.
Similarly, your home’s structural design and construction materials affect the cost of your flood insurance policy.
Do You Need Flood Insurance in North Carolina?
Getting flood insurance is optional. However, those living in a high-risk or moderate-risk flood zone may be required to purchase a policy by government-backed mortgage lenders. Because every property is vulnerable to flooding, those in low-risk flood zones are also advised to buy coverage.
You can get flood insurance from the NFIP or a private insurance company. Flood insurance carriers usually pay claims even without a presidential disaster declaration. Plus, they offer more compensation than federal assistance, which caps its disaster grants at $5,000 per household.
Ultimately, flood insurance can provide you with an added layer of protection and peace of mind.
Frequently Asked Questions About North Carolina Flood Insurance
Learn more about flood insurance in North Carolina by reading MoneyGeek’s answers to some frequently asked questions below.
About Mark Fitzpatrick
- FEMA. "Flood Insurance." Accessed August 24, 2022.
- FEMA. "Historical Flood Risk and Costs." Accessed August 24, 2022.