If your property is located in a high-risk flood zone (VE, AE, AO or A) shown on FEMA’s Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) you may be required to purchase flood insurance. If your property is in a high-risk area and you meet any of the following criteria, you are required by federal law to purchase and maintain flood insurance:

  • You have received FEMA aid in the past
  • You have received a Small Business Administration (SBA) Disaster Loan in the past 
  • You are registered with the Build-it-Back Program
  • You have a federally-backed mortgage

It is important to note that **flood insurance is not included in homeowner’s insurance.**

The newly expanded FEMA 100-year floodplain will double the number of residents who are required to buy flood insurance when the Preliminary FIRMs are finalized in 2016 or 2017. You can purchase flood insurance at www.floodsmart.gov. Call at least 3 agents listed on floodsmart.gov for flood insurance rate quotes.

FEMA determines how much flood insurance rates will be based on:

  • the flood zone in which a structure (e.g., house, office, business, etc.) is located;
  • the relationship between the lowest-occupied floor of your structure (this could include a basement apartment, first floor of a house, etc.) and the potential flood height as indicated on the maps, as well as other factors.

The graphic below illustrates how the height of your lowest-occupied floor in relation to the expected flood height (known as the Base Flood Elevation) can impact your insurance rates.


For more information on flood insurance and how you may be affected, please visit floodhelpny.org.