Flood Insurance

To enable personal and business property owners and renters to purchase flood insurance coverage for buildings and/or contents in low-to-moderate flood risk areas, as well as in high-risk flood zones to reduce taxpayer provided federal disaster assistance and to promote wise floodplain management practices
in the Nation's high-risk flood zones.

Agency - Department of Homeland Security

The Department of Homeland Security has three primary missions: Prevent terrorist attacks within the United States, reduce America's vulnerability to terrorism and minimize the damage from potential attacks and natural disasters.

Office - See Regional Agency Offices.

NFIP Regional Offices are listed online at: http://www.fema.gov/business/nfip/nfip_regions.shtm Contact the appropriate FEMA regional office, or the State office responsible for coordinating the NFIP activities.

Program Accomplishments

Fiscal Year 2016: ? Effective November 1, 2015, FEMA revised the Non-Residential building occupancy category to identify ?Business? properties in the existing rate structure. Section 100205 of BW-12 required FEMA to phase out Pre-FIRM subsidized rates for business properties. The premium increases will be 25 percent per year. The first 25-percent annual premium increases for policies on Pre-FIRM subsidized business properties will be applied with the next set of Program changes in 2016. ? HFIAA Sections 5 and 29 ? Changes to the Flood Insurance Underwriting Forms. o Revised the Application, Endorsement, and PRP Application forms to capture information required for implementation of certain provisions of BW-12 and HFIAA, including introduction of a ?Lender Indicator.? o Added questions to the Application forms in anticipation of future implementation of the HFIAA Section 3 provision pertaining to lapsed and reinstated coverage. In addition to requesting the date of the rated map and the current map for the property, the new questions will capture the data: Has the applicant had prior NFIP coverage for the same property indicated on this Application? Was the prior NFIP policy required under the mandatory purchase provision of the law at the time of coverage termination? At the time of the policy lapse, did the applicant have an insurable interest in the property for which flood insurance coverage is sought? Was the lapse the result of a community suspension? Will this policy be effective within 180 days of the community reinstatement after the suspension referred to in (4) above? ? HFIAA Section 8 ? Required insurers to report a Primary Residence indicated for all of their Mortgage Portfolio Protection Program policies to ensure correct application of the HFIAA surcharge. When the residency status is unknown, or when primary residence is asserted by the insured, but not properly documented, the insurer must treat the MPPP as a non-primary residence. The status may be corrected with appropriate documentation submitted by the insured. Fiscal Year 2017: ? Revised and implemented Appeals process to be more customer friendly ? On track to simplify the underwriting and claims manuals ? On track to improve Write-Your-Own (WYO) oversight processes and standards, to include the release of the updated 2018 WYO Financial Assistance/Subsidy Arrangement (?Arrangement?) in April 2017 ? Improved map change notifications to citizens ? Working to fully transition NFIP?s Direct Servicing Agent over to a new contractor and ensure the system has been fully authorized to operate. ? Working on several communication initiatives, in specific regions as well as nationwide, targeting policyholders at renewal to test ?retention messaging?. ? Improving the adjuster cadre through the required workshops occurring nationwide, so the adjusting workforce is fully prepared and re-authorized prior to the 2017 hurricane season. ? Improved adjuster cadre through the release of an update adjuster fee schedule to better attract and retain adjusters through competitive rates. Fiscal Year 2018: ? Publish the new claims and underwriting manuals and an NFIP guide for State Insurance Commissioners. ? Submit the legislatively required Affordability Framework to Congress. ? Develop new policy forms that align with a new rating scheme to further the goal of a transformed NFIP. ? Deliver an enhanced data analytics tool set. ? Deliver targeted messages to consumers to encourage flood insurance purchases. ? Automate the appeals process to enhance efficiencies.

Uses and Use Restrictions

The maximum limits of flood insurance coverage for a building and/or personal property, eligible building types, and more detailed additional flood insurance information is contained in the Flood Insurance Manual available online at https://www.fema.gov/flood-insurance-manual .

In a Regular Program Community the residential building limit is $250,000 and non-residential building limit is $500,000.

The residential contents limit is $100,000 and the non-residential contents limit is $500,000.

Lower limits apply to a limited number of Emergency Program buildings and buildings in Alaska, Guam, Hawaii and U.S, Virgin Islands and are listed in the Flood Insurance Manual.

The Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, as amended by the Flood Insurance Reform Act of 1994, requires flood insurance purchased as a condition of any form of Federal or federally-related financial assistance, including Federal grants, disaster assistance, SBA low-interest disaster assistance loans, and mortgage loans from federally regulated lending institutions and FHA, Farm Credit Administration, VA or guaranteed mortgages secured by buildings in high-risk flood zones, which are called the Special Flood Hazard Areas (SFHAs).

Communities having one or more identified SFHAs must enter into the NFIP within 1 year of the official identification of the SFHAs or be denied Federal financial assistance for acquisition or construction purposes within those areas.

Federally regulated conventional sources (i.e., banks, savings and loan associations, or similar lending institutions) are permitted to make conventional loans secured by improved real estate or Manufactured Housing located or to be located in SFHAs of a nonparticipating community which has been formally identified as flood-prone for more than 1 year, but Federal disaster assistance for acquisition or construction purposes will not be available in the event of flood or flood-related property damage.

The conventional lender is statutorily required to notify the borrower, before making a loan in such an area, that Federal flood insurance and disaster assistance will not be available to the property.

The Coastal Barrier Improvement Act of 1990 amended the Coastal Barrier Resources Act of 1982 by greatly enlarging the acreage included in the designated coastal barrier resources system unit.

The 1990 Act also added 'otherwise protected areas.' 'Otherwise protected areas' are defined as an undeveloped coastal barrier within the boundaries of an area established under Federal, State, or local law, or held by a qualified organization, primarily for wildlife refuge, sanctuary, recreational or natural resource conservation purposes.

The 1982 Act prohibits the sale of new flood insurance on or after October 1, 1983 for new construction or substantial improvements of structures located on any coastal barrier with the Coastal Barrier Resources System designated by this Act.

The1990 Act prohibits the sale of new flood insurance on or after November 16, 1990 for new construction or substantial improvements of structures located on any new coastal barrier within the Coastal Barrier Resources System designated or modified by this Act.

It also prohibits the sale of new flood insurance on or after November 16, 1991 for new construction or substantial improvements of structures located in an otherwise protected area that are not used in a manner consistent with the purpose of the otherwise protected area.

Subsequent pieces of legislation have added or deleted areas.

Also, the Secretary of the Interior is authorized to make technical revisions and modifications to the boundaries of such units as may be necessary.

Eligibility Requirements

Applicant Eligibility

Federal flood insurance can be made available in any community (a State or political subdivision thereof with authority to adopt and enforce floodplain management measures for the areas within its jurisdiction) that adopts and enforces floodplain management measures consistent with the National Flood Insurance Program regulations.

Beneficiary Eligibility

Residential and business property owners, renters and state owned property.


Same as Applicant Eligibility. This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Subpart E - Cost Principles.

Aplication and Award Process

Preapplication Coordination

Preapplication coordination is not applicable.

Environmental impact information is not required for this program.

This program is excluded from coverage under E.O.


Application Procedures

This program is excluded from coverage under 2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards. Community officials must submit an NFIP eligibility application form, which is available from the FEMA, together with: copies of adopted floodplain management measures meeting the minimum standards of 44 CFR Section 60.3(a), 60.3(b), 60.3(c), 60.3(d), and/or 60.3(e), as appropriate for the type of flood hazards identified; a list of any incorporated communities within the applicant's boundaries; and estimates of population and, by kind, of buildings situated in the known flood-prone areas of the community. Such Applications should be submitted to the Mitigation Directorate, FEMA, Washington, DC 20024.

Award Procedures

FEMA reviews the application and if complete, designates the community as participating. The community is informed of its admission, and notice is published in the Federal Register. Residents and property owners may then purchase flood insurance through any property insurance agent or broker.


Contact the headquarters or regional office, as appropriate, for application deadlines.


The National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, 42 U.S.C. 4001 et seq. authorized the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), Title 13, Public Law 90-448, 44CFR U.S.C Subchapter B.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

For complete applications, a maximum of 10 working days is allowed for review and notification. Communities with one or more identified special flood hazard areas must enter the program within 1 year after the identification of those areas or else prohibitions against Federally related financial assistance for acquisition or construction purposes in identified special flood hazard areas take force. Once the community does qualify, after the prescribed date, these prohibitions are removed. Adequate floodplain management measures must be in effect within 6 months of the date that the special flood hazard area is identified and within 6 months of the date flood water surface elevations are provided.


Communities are allowed to appeal flood-prone identification and are also given an opportunity to appeal proposed flood elevation determinations for new construction and substantial improvement of existing structures in the special flood hazard areas. Notice of the proposed elevations is published in the Federal Register and is sent directly to the local governments. Following notification to the local government, the notice of proposed flood elevation determinations is published twice during a 10-day period in a prominent newspaper. The local community and its individual residents then have 90 days following the second newspaper notice to submit any scientific or technical data that tend to negate or contradict FEMA's findings. If a conflict in data exists and cannot be resolved at the community level, the community consolidates all individual appeals for review by FEMA. FEMA shall resolve the appeals by consultation with officials of the local government, or by submission of conflicting data to an independent scientific body, or by administrative hearings.



Assistance Considerations

Formula and Matching Requirements

This program has no statutory formula. Matching requirements are not applicable to this program. MOE requirements are not applicable to this program.

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

None. See the following for information on how assistance is awarded/released: Refer to program guidance.

Post Assistance Requirements


Every two years to FEMA on progress of the floodplain management program.

Refer to program guidance.

Refer to program guidance.

Refer to program guidance.

Refer to program guidance.


In accordance with the provisions of 2 CFR 200, Subpart F - Audit Requirements, non-Federal entities that expend financial assistance of $750,000 or more in Federal awards will have a single or a program-specific audit conducted for that year. Non-Federal entities that expend less than $750,000 a year in Federal awards are exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in 2 CFR 200.503.


Specific elevation information on proposed new construction or substantial improvements in the area of special flood hazard. Backup data for biennial report.

Financial Information

Account Identification



(Insurance) FY 16 $117,363,039; FY 17 est $180,853,000; and FY 18 Estimate Not Available - ? The Appropriated Discretionary number for the FY16 Estimate; and ? The proposed Appropriated Discretionary number for the FY17 Estimate.

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Claims paid: $1 to $1,900,000; $31,802.

Regulations, Guidelines, and Literature

Regulation 44 CFR 59 et seq. Publication, 'Answers to Questions About the National Flood Insurance Program,' 'Mandatory Purchase of Flood Insurance Guidelines,' 'Elevated Residential Structures,' 'Guide To Flood Insurance Rate Maps,' 'Flood Insurance Manual' (agents manual), 'National Flood Insurance Program. Application Forms,' 'Manufactured Home Installation in Flood Hazard Areas,' 'Coastal Construction Manual,' Alluvial Fans: Hazards and Management,' 'Floodplain Management in the United States: An Assessment Report,' 'Design Guidelines for Flood Damage Reduction' and 'Repairing Your Flooded Home,' 'Technical Bulletin Series (FIA-TB)' 'Answers to Questions About Substantially Damaged Buildings,' 'Reducing Losses in High Risk Flood Hazard Areas,' 'Design Manual for Retrofitting Flood- Prone Residential Structures' and 'Flood Proofing Non-Residential Structures.'

Information Contacts

Regional or Local Office

See Regional Agency Offices. NFIP Regional Offices are listed online at: http://www.fema.gov/business/nfip/nfip_regions.shtm Contact the appropriate FEMA regional office, or the State office responsible for coordinating the NFIP activities.

Headquarters Office

Paul Huang 400 Street SW, Washington, District of Columbia 20024 Email: Paul.Huang@fema.dhs.gov Phone: (800) 621-FEMA (3363)

Criteria for Selecting Proposals

Not Applicable.

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