Standard homeowners insurance does not cover flood damages. You will need to get a separate flood insurance policy to protect your home from this particular natural peril.
Insurers look at your property’s FEMA risk rating, which determines whether you are located in a high-, moderate- or low-risk flood zone. In addition to your location, insurance companies also look at other characteristics, like foundation type, construction type and flood frequency. Identifying your property as having a high risk of flooding will likely result in higher premiums.
According to FEMA, an inch of water entering your property can easily cost up to $25,000 in damages. Hence, even if your property is not deemed susceptible to flooding, it is still wise to purchase flood insurance.
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Flood insurance covers the building’s structure and contents. Other damages like vehicle flooding, leakage from a broken pipe and swimming pools are not included in this coverage.
If you need less than $250,000 in building coverage, an insurance policy from the NFIP may be sufficient. Higher coverage needs mean you will have to get an excess policy from a private insurer.
In most jurisdictions, flood insurance costs vary based on your location within the state. However, in Washington, D.C., rates are generally consistent across the District.
Average Cost of Flood Insurance in Washington, D.C.
The cost of flood insurance in Washington, D.C., averages around $869 per year. Your location and individual property risks both affect how flood insurance costs are calculated. Properties in flood-prone areas typically have more expensive premiums than those that are not.
Companies That Offer Flood Insurance in Washington, D.C.
Residents in Washington, D.C., may choose to get their flood insurance from the NFIP, their home insurance provider or a separate private insurance company.
An NFIP base policy may be sufficient if you need coverage within its limit of $250,000. However, households outside an NFIP community or those who find this amount insufficient should get an excess policy from a private company.
Private Flood Insurance Providers in DC and Their Contact Numbers
41 43 285 2121
Flood insurance can be purchased from NFIP-participating insurance providers. The table below shows all the NFIP-participating insurance providers in Washington, D.C.
NFIP-Participating Flood Insurance Providers in State and Their Contact Numbers
Allstate Insurance Company
American Strategic Ins. Corp.
Farmers Insurance Group
Hartford Fire Insurance Co.
Hartford Underwriters Ins. Co.
Homesite Insurance Company
Liberty Mutual Fire Insurance Company
How to Purchase Flood Insurance and Its Coverage Requirements
Flood insurance can easily be purchased by calling the NFIP hotline (877-336-2626), calling your home insurance agent or researching a separate flood insurance provider.
Due to the waiting period, MoneyGeek recommends getting flood insurance earlier than you expect to need it. The NFIP has a 30-day waiting period, while private insurance companies often require a 10-day waiting period.
What Does Flood Insurance Cover in Washington, D.C.?
Flood damage can easily cost around $25,000, even if you only get an inch of water in your home. Protect your home by insuring the building’s structure and its contents through flood insurance.
Any type of water damage as a result of a natural phenomenon or weather event is generally covered by flood insurance. However, flooding from broken pipes, leaking appliances and other unnatural water damage is not considered a covered peril.
A standard flood insurance policy does not cover swimming pools, decks, patios, landscaping, cash, paperwork, basement items or vehicle flooding. If you want coverage for your car, look into comprehensive auto insurance.
Flood Insurance Building Coverage
Building coverage in a flood insurance policy protects the physical structure of your home against covered perils. You can purchase up to $250,000 in building coverage from the NFIP. Building coverage protects several elements 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
If you purchase flood insurance from the NFIP, you can secure your personal belongings with up to $100,000 in contents coverage. The following are covered by the contents coverage component in your flood insurance policy:
- Electronic equipment
- Washers and dryers
Factors That Affect Flood Insurance Costs in Washington, D.C.
Until October 2021, flood insurance costs were calculated based solely on your general location, relying on a broader flood map. However, FEMA introduced Risk Rating 2.0, which also looks at individual property risks when calculating premiums for flood insurance.
Risk Rating 2.0
Risk Rating 2.0 is a newer rating system that takes individual factors into consideration. While it still relies on the flood map to determine whether your property is at a high risk of flooding, it also evaluates other factors, like foundation type, age of the property, dwelling structure, replacement and repair costs, elevation and proximity to bodies of water.
The following factors significantly affect the cost of flood insurance in Washington, D.C.
Generally, properties in flood zone areas require higher premiums. FEMA determines flood risk by looking at location and individual risk factors. This means that the cost of insurance varies significantly, even for people living in the same neighborhood.
Your chosen amount of coverage will also affect how much flood insurance in the District of Columbia will cost.
You can choose a deductible amount between $1,000 and $10,000. A higher deductible means lower monthly premiums but also higher out-of-pocket expenses when you file claims.
Age of Structure
Older homes are more prone to structural damage. Newer homes in the same neighborhood are more likely to get cheaper flood insurance than older homes.
Several elements of your home’s structure and design also come into play when determining flood insurance rates. Sturdier structures will cost less to insure.
Do You Need Flood Insurance in Washington, D.C.?
Over 10% of all properties in the District of Columbia are expected to experience severe flood damage in the next 30 years.
Regardless if you are in a low-, moderate- or high-risk flood zone, MoneyGeek recommends getting insured for an extra layer of protection.
Homeowners and renters insurance don’t cover flood damage. Although you can get a grant of up to $5,000 per household from the federal government if there’s a disaster declaration, the cost of flood damage is usually more than that. Furthermore, private flood insurance must pay out, even if there’s no presidential disaster declaration.
Frequently Asked Questions About Washington, D.C. Flood Insurance
To help residents in Washington, D.C., understand more about flood insurance, MoneyGeek answered the following frequently asked questions.
About Mark Fitzpatrick
- FEMA. "District of Columbia - Risk Rating 2.0.." Accessed August 21, 2022.
- Risk Factor. "District of Columbia Flood Factor." Accessed August 21, 2022.