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Flood Insurance Mass

Does my Massachusetts homeowner insurance cover flooding?

A typical Massachusetts homeowners’ policy is written through Farmers, State Farm, Allstate, and Progressive, for instance, excludes flooding as something that will be covered under their homeowner’s policy.

In most cases, the only way to get flood coverage is by purchasing a stand-alone flood insurance policy. However, you should ask your homeowners agent if you can add an endorsement to your homeowner’s policy to cover flooding. Yet, don’t be too surprised if the answer is NO.

Flood Insurance Rate maps

Do I need flood insurance in Massachusetts?

It is important to have flood insurance coverage in Massachusetts because our beloved Cowboy State has seen a fair share of flooding, and there is likely more coming.

We believe that most homeowners think about Flood insurance in Massachusetts at some point, maybe before buying a home, or during the closing process.  However, many of us only think about it when a big storm is looming, or we have heard on the news that there is flooding forecasted or happening currently too close to our home.

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Flood nerd Broken heartIf your home or business is in a flood zone, that is considered low flood risk area. Sadly, many homeowners decide to forgo purchasing coverage because they believe they are safe from flooding. Some real estate agents and some insurance agents may even say you don’t need it.

I ask you to consider the facts: 20-percent of all flooding events across our nation come in areas that are considered low risk. After our last few major storms (Hurricane Harvey), we saw flooding in these low-risk areas.  In 80 percent of these individuals, they had water in their home or building and didn’t have flood insurance coverage.

In Harris county, nearly 135,000 homes were damaged.  Three-fourths of these properties were considered low to moderate risk.

We hear often that people believe that the government will help, and this is true.  However, there are a few things that must align for you to get government assistance.

1 – The president of the United States must declare the flooding event a state of emergency.  If this doesn’t happen, then there won’t be assistance.

2 – The average amount of assistance that homeowners get after a flood, when they do not have flood coverage, is $5,000.  The average cost of damage to one’s property after a flood is $38,000+.  That $5K you get from the government?  It comes in the form of a loan and you will need to pay it back.  Are you willing to gamble away your financial future by forgoing flood insurance coverage?

https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2017-fema-faulty-flood-maps/
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One more note on these low-risk flood zone maps. Many of these maps are over 40-years old. If the area has been developed, then there is likely more concrete, creating a barrier for land that previously, might have absorbed the massive downpour.

Because of all these factors, it is difficult for property owners to know their true risk of flooding. FEMA admits that their flood maps only give an idea for part of the risk. Our recent storms are facts that it can rain anywhere within Massachusetts, and you should consider getting flood coverage, so you are not uninsured when you need it most.

Massachusetts flooding

FEMA Massachusetts Flood maps

FEMA flood zone maps often take years to go into effect after the terrain was studied, this gives the impression that the area is “more up to date” then it really is.

The average cost for Massachusetts flood insurance in these Low-risk areas is $595 per year.

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FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and all federally backed lenders rely on these Massachusetts flood insurance maps to assess risk, set premiums, and determine who is required to purchase flood insurance. Bad information about an areas flood risk can leave property owners under or uninsured.

 

How much is flood insurance in Massachusetts?

Massachusetts NFIP flood insurance.

There are many options available in Massachusetts regarding flood insurance, but they basically fall into two main categories. The Government Policy also referred to as the NFIP or FEMA and the private flood insurance market.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), also known as FEMA, which is the government option for flood insurance.  The NFIP has enjoyed a 50-state monopoly on the flood insurance market.

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Not “private flood insurance” but NFIP Resellers

Progressive Flood Insurance 

If you have Nationwide Flood Insurance, State Farm Flood Insurance, Progressive Flood Insurance, or any of the of the logos below then you are buying the NFIP flood policy that is just being resold through a government program. These companies are private companies, but their flood insurance is not. Here is a list of the 70 companies that resell the NFIP policy.

https://www.fema.gov/wyo_company

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Massachusetts private flood insurance market

 

Llloyds of London Flood Insurance ShopperThere are alternatives to the NFIP or government insurance.  It  is called Private flood insurance most notably Lloyds of London Flood insurance, however, there are other options available in Massachusetts . We shop all the options for your property in your region to ensure you are getting the best premium.  If you are ready to have us do the work for you, please click here.

Our shopping does include the NFIP because sometimes we find that with government subsidies you can get a much better premium.

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Lloyds of London Flood Insurance Massachusetts Market

 

Massachusetts is fortunate to have many Lloyds of London flood insurance options. Although many Lloyds flood insurance companies will have you assume that there is only one option, nothing could be further from the truth.

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Lloyds of London has a rich history and is attributed to have invented the very first modern insurance model. Unlike most of its competition, Lloyds of London is not really a company but rather a corporate body.  This structure works quite well since it has been around for over 330 years. Lloyds operates under multiple financial backers that all pool their capital to spread the risk.

I have two blog posts that take a deep dive into Lloyds of London and what they mean to Massachusetts ’s flood insurance market.  If you are interested, the links are below.

Lloyds of London Flood Insurance

FEMA vs Private Flood Insurance

Lloyds also insures the world for flood insurance, meaning they cover flooding events in India, Australia as well as much of Europe.  You see the “game” of insurance is to spread your risk since Lloyds is worldwide.

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Lloyds of London Private Market Flood InsruanceMy joke here is that Lloyds is banking on Gods promise that he won’t flood the entire world again, …..so they won’t have to pay out the whole worlds flood claim.

How much does flood insurance cost in Massachusetts?

There are many factors that go into getting the cost of flood insurance for Massachusetts. If your home is in what is considered low-to-moderate risk, you can get a heavily subsidized policy though the government.

Massachusetts flood insurance low-to Moderate Risk rate and cost.
This is Flood Zone X, which is not lender required flood zone.

This is usually identified as an X-flood zone.  Then we would suggest the government Preferred Risk Policy (PRP) which is a subsidized policy and has set flood insurance coverage limits (see grid below):

Maximum flood insurance coverages NFIP

Here a link if you want to really dig into this one. Be ready for an eye chart because every option is public record and should be standardized accost whoever writes these policies.

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The average cost for flood insurance in Massachusetts with the maximum set limits in these Low-risk flood zone areas is $405 – $700 per year.

https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1523307331106-4cf9726b2eb04c3471a3e9d37a58fa6a/09_prp_508_apr2018.pdf

A flood zone and SHFA rate maps
FEMA High-risk Rates

If your property is in higher-risk flood zone, it is usually identified with a Flood Zone AE. Your lender will require you to have flood insurance. The cost of flood insurance in Massachusetts depends on many factors that are unique to the structure. We are going to try to give you an idea for the most common homes we see in Massachusetts with a basement foundation.

We will look at the Massachusetts cost of flood insurance for the NFIP maximum of $250,000 for the (building only) with NO CONTENTS and our recommended deductible of $5,000.

We will be rating this example on the NFIP, as well as on a few of our private flood insurance policies, specifically Lloyds flood insurance options in Massachusetts.

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Cost of Flood Insurance in MASSACHUSETTS in high-risk flood zone AE

Our example is in Boston, but the premiums will be the same if in Revere, Quincy, Falmouth, Provincetown, and many other Massachusetts flood ones.

In our example, the Base Flood Elevation (BFE is 10.0) and is a home that is built before 1973

Base Flood elevation Oregon

NFIP option in Massachusetts Flood Zone AE

 

NFIP – Coverage of $250,000 building coverage (no Contents coverage) and $5,000 deductible

NFIP Annual premium in High-Risk flood zone is $5,262.00

This option is what we see if the property has had a flood loss before, and either doesn’t have an Elevation Certificate applied or the Elevation certificate showing that the lowest floor is 4 feet under the BFE for the area. You can use 10% of your coverage to cover other structures on your property

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Massachusetts Private flood insurance – Lloyds of London Flood Insurance (option 1)

Coverage of $250,000 building coverage (no Contents coverage) and $5,000 deductible

Lloyds of London (option 1) Annual premium in High-Risk flood zone is $904.28

This option is great, and we are very happy when we can get this option. They can be a bit choosey about what risk they will accept and will not take anything that has had a flood loss. They do offer coverage for basements, about $2,000 for loss of use, $2,000 for other structures, but they can’t increase this coverage. They do not require an Elevation Certificate to rate.

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Massachusetts Private flood insurance – Lloyds of London Flood Insurance (option 2)

Coverage of $250,000 building coverage (no Contents coverage) and $5,000 deductible

Lloyds of London (option 2)  Annual premium in High-Risk flood zone is $876.01

This option is great, and we are very happy when we can get this option for our clients as well. They seem to be writing almost all risks; however, they do not write any property that is in a designated floodway or has the depth of -4 under the BFE.  In our example, with our BFE being 10.0 ft, if the lowest floor is 7.0 ft, then they will not accept this risk.  They will not take anything that has had a flood loss. They do offer limited coverage for basements and do not require an Elevation Certificate to rate, and as a percentage of coverage for loss of use. If you want coverage for other structures, then that will need to be added.

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Private Flood insurance option (option 3) NOT LLOYDS

Coverage of $250,000 building coverage (no Contents coverage) and $5,000 deductible

Annual premium in High-Risk flood zone is $4,736.00

This option will take properties that have had one flood loss as long as it has been more than five years, and the payout was under $100,000 on the claim. Their coverage matches the NFIP.  They will write practically all risks, don’t need an elevation certificate to rate, and are a bit lower in premium than the NFIP.

Private Flood insurance –  Lloyds of London (option 4)

This option must be written on the Replacement Cost Value (RCV) of the building, otherwise there is a co-insurance penalty that kicks in. So, $250,000 might be a bit low in California, but to keep this going, let’s just use that for this option

Coverage of $250,000 (RCV) building coverage, No Contents and $5,000 deductible

Annual premium in High-Risk flood zone is $958.16 (great price).

This options rating system is all over the board.  Sometimes we get a crazy great price, but other times the premium is way higher than the NFIP will consider taking a property that has had one flood loss before as long as it has been more than ten years and the payout was under $50,000 on the claim. Their preferred coverage is at replacement cost, which is a bit different from some of our other Lloyd’s flood options.  We usually reserve this one if the property doesn’t fit into any of our options above. We can adjust coverages to control premium. As mentioned before, this underwriters’ rates are all over the board.  It is worth shopping through to make sure we are getting you the best premium we can. They don’t need an elevation certificate to rate.

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Private Flood insurance –  Lloyds of London (option 5)

Coverage of $250,000 (RCV) building coverage, No Contents and $5,000 deductible.

Annual premium in High-Risk flood zone is $1,015.88

This option came out of the company that used to run the NFIP program, so the coverage almost exactly matches the NFIP coverage with two differences. They offer living expenses which will cover your cost, when you are displaced from your home during repairs (most Lloyds flood policies offer this).  They also offer swimming pool clean out, which is kind of unique so if you have a pool ask for this coverage.

Private Flood insurance –  Lloyds of London (option 6)

Coverage of $250,000 (RCV) building coverage. No Contents and $5,000 deductible.

Annual premium in High-Risk flood zone is $904.05

This options rating system is also all over the board. Sometimes we get a crazy low price; other times the premium is way higher than the NFIP. They will consider taking a property that has had one flood loss before as long as it has been more than ten years and the payout was under $25,000 on the claim. They have been rumored to give a low price the first year and then non renew following years or sometimes they jack the price way up so we will watch them. They have a slick system, and their underwriting is managed by a 3rd party, which also seems to be a glitch sometimes.

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There are more options coming online every day, and we are working to be looking into every viable option.

Currently, Massachusetts has 61,711 NFIP policies in force to date with the total cost of $77,215,928.  That would make the average flood rate for Massachusetts $1,251. Of course, some will pay more, and some will pay less.

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Flood Insurance in Massachusetts

Hello, Massachusetts!  Thanks for visiting our page for all your flood insurance needs.

Let’s start off with Barnstable, Massachusetts where the average flood rate is higher than the state average at $1,355.  The active flood policies number 1,106 with $1,498,161 in written premium.

Next up is Bourne, Massachusetts, where the premiums add up to $1,925,330.  The average flood rate in Bourne is $2,125 which includes 906 active flood policies.  Give us a call Bourne!

Let’s check out Brewster and Chatham, Massachusetts, where the active flood policies number 600 with $653,185 in flood premium.  The average flood rate in these areas is $1,089.

Dennis, Massachusetts has an average flood rate of $1,020.  The premiums here total $1,379,063 with 1,352 flood policies in effect.

Now, we’ll look at Eastham and Harwich, Massachusetts, where the flood policies number 937 with $918,126 in premium.  The average flood rate for Eastham and Harwich is $980.

2,194 flood policies are active in Falmouth, Massachusetts.  The average flood rate in Falmouth is $1,940 which includes $4,256,161 in written premium.

Let’s look at a few areas that include Mashpee and Orleans, Massachusetts, where the premiums add up to $864,990.  The flood policies here number 824 which allows the average flood rate to be $1,050.

In Provincetown, Massachusetts, the flood policies number 1,158 with $1,437,260 in flood premiums.  Provincetown has an average flood rate of $1,241.

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We’ll glance at a group that includes Sandwich, Truro, and Wellfleet, Massachusetts, where the average flood rate is $1,500.  The premiums for these areas add up to $1,452,112 with 968 flood policies in effect.

$1,447 is the average flood rate for Yarmouth, Massachusetts.  The active flood policies total 1,318 with $1,907,466 in total premiums.

Now we’ll look at a larger group of areas that contain Pittsfield, Attleboro, Freetown, New Bedford, North Attleborough, Taunton, Westport, Tisbury, Amesbury, and Andover, Massachusetts.  These areas have flood premiums that total $3,192,819 with 2,748 active flood policies.  The average flood rate calculates to be $1,162.

Flood Nerds shop all options
FEMA FLood Insurance Rate Maps

Our next large group includes Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Somerset, Swansea, Edgartown, Oak Bluffs, Beverly, and Danvers, Massachusetts, where the average flood rate is higher than our previous group at $1,473. The active flood policies number 2,931 with $4,316,393 in flood premiums.

Gloucester, Massachusetts has 737 flood policies active with $1,194,677 in flood premiums. The average flood rate in Gloucester is $1,621.  Give us a call!  We’ll check rates for you!

The average flood rate rises to $1,784 in Haverhill, Ipswich, and Lawrence, Massachusetts.  The premiums add up to $1,523,397 with 854 flood policies in effect.

860 flood policies are active in Lynn, Massachusetts. The premiums in Lynn total $667,769 which allows the average flood rate to be $776.

Let’s check out a group of areas that include Manchester-By-The-Sea, Marblehead, Newburyport, North Andover, and Salem, Massachusetts, where the average flood rate computes to $1,144.  The flood premiums for these areas total $2,089,382 with 1,827 flood policies in effect.

Our next group contains Methuen, Nahant, Newbury, Peabody, and Rockport, Massachusetts, where the active flood policies number 1,650 with $2,205,945 in written premium.  The average flood rate for these areas is $1,337.

In Salisbury, Massachusetts, the premiums total $1,148,495.  The average flood rate for Salisbury is $1,107 which includes 1,129 flood policies in effect.

Another collection of places includes Saugus, Westfield, Arlington, Chelmsford, and Concord, Massachusetts, where active flood policies number 1,764 with $1,732,024 in flood premiums.  The average flood rate for these areas is $982.

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When we look at Swampscott, Agawam, Bedford, Billerica, Cambridge, Framingham, and Lexington, Massachusetts, we find the average flood rate is just a little lower at $904.  The flood premiums add up to $2,085,621 with 2,308 flood policies in effect.

$795 is the average flood rate in Lowell, Massachusetts.  The premiums here total $921,724 with 1,160 active flood policies.

Next up is Malden, Melrose, Tyngsborough, Waltham, and Winchester, Massachusetts, where the active flood policies number 1,063.  The flood premiums for these areas add up to $1,250,073 which allows the average flood rate to be $1,176.

In Newton and Tewksbury, Massachusetts, we find the average flood rate to be a little higher at $1,277.  The flood policies here total 559 with $713,586 in total premiums.

Nantucket, Massachusetts has 1,066 flood policies in effect. The average flood rate here is a little higher at $1,726 which includes $1,736,228 in written premium.  Give us a call, Nantucket!

Braintree, Brookline, Cohasset, and Dedham, Massachusetts combined have $839,102 in written premium with 730 active flood policies.  The average for these areas is $1,149.

Let’s check out Medway, Milton, and Needham, Massachusetts where the average flood rate is $719.  The active flood policies number 350 with $251,770 in premiums.

3,794 flood policies are active in Quincy, Massachusetts.  The premiums here total $3,996,373 which allows the average flood rate to be $1,053.

The average flood rate in Wellesley and Weymouth, Massachusetts, is $629.  The active flood policies number 688 with $432,410 in written premium.

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The average flood rate jumps to $1,720 when we look at Brockton, Duxbury, and Hingham, Massachusetts.  The premiums for these areas add up to $1,405,550 with 817 flood policies in effect.  Give us a call!  We’ll check your rates!

Hull, Massachusetts has $3,231,328 in flood premiums with 1,990 active flood policies.  The average flood rate in Hull is $1,624.

The average flood rate goes up to $1,959 in Marion and Mattapoisett, Massachusetts.  The premiums for these areas total $2,150,487 with 1,098 flood policies in effect.

In Marshfield, Massachusetts, the active flood policies number 1,725 with $2,058,187 in written premium.  Marshfield has an average flood rate of $1,193.

Let’s check out Plymouth and Chelsea, Massachusetts where the average flood rate rises to $1,435.  The premiums here total $920,958 with 642 flood policies in effect.

The premiums in Scituate add up to $2,167,687 with 1,563 active flood policies.  The average flood rate for Scituate, Massachusetts is $1,387.

The active flood policies in Wareham, Massachusetts, total 1,590.  The average flood rate in Wareham is $1,738 which includes $2,763,073 in written premium.  Give us a call!

Hello Boston, Massachusetts!  You all have the highest number of active flood policies – 4,065!  The premiums in Boston total $3,311,313 which allows the average flood rate to be $815.

Next up is Revere, Massachusetts, where the average flood rate rises a little to $931.  The premiums here total $2,193,368 with 2,355 active flood policies.

$1,337 is the average flood rate for Winthrop, Massachusetts.  The active flood policies here number 1,122 with $1,500,658 in written premium.

Our last group to look at includes Clinton and Worcester, Massachusetts, where the average flood rate jumps to $1,885.  The premiums for these areas add up to $895,279 with 475 flood policies in effect.

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Thanks for checking out all the flood information on Massachusetts!!

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Massachusetts flood insurance cost calucluator

For decades, the NFIP has over-charged 50 percent of its policyholders and under-charged the other 50 percent, while it has racked up $42 billion in taxpayer-funded losses, equating to more than half of every claim paid by the NFIP since 1978.

About 30 percent of NFIP claims payments go to the same 3 percent of insured “repetitive loss” structures year after year. When you do the math, this means that the other 97 percent of their flood-exposed constituents could have paid in less and still netted larger claims payouts if they had better access to private flood insurance. In fact, a recent white paper by Milliman found that 90 percent of homes in Sandy-struck Massachusetts and Massachusetts would see reduced flood insurance rates through private insurers.

FLOOD NERD FISHING

How to save money on Flood Insurance in NH VE flood zones

Yes Please shop for my flood Insurance

All homes that are ocean facing are custom built so with this special consideration our Lloyds of London VE flood zone and other Private Flood Insurance options for oceanfront properties take this into consideration with variable coverage options as well as significant savings below is a case study for a property we were shopping just last week.

Our example was in the EASTHAM, MA area and is in a VE flood zone map.

For the coverage of $250,000 with no contents and a $5,000 deductible the NFIP annual cost for flood insurance in a VE flood zone is $23,859.00. Ouch!

Since we are who we are and experts in Flood Insurance we will look at every property everyway possible to ensure that we are getting the best premium for our clients and WE often Do (smile wink)

We tried this same property on our Private flood options and were able to get the premium to under $2,500 and we have in some cases with similar properties gotten the annual premium to $600 this was a feather in our cap and made our clients very happy. Again all properties are unique in these VE flood zones but if we can find a private flood policy for you we guarantee it will be better then the NFIP option.

Let us help you save money today.

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References
the following documents contain additional hydrologic data, flood photos, historic flood descriptions, floodplain delineations and other pertinent information, and should be considered supplemental to this flood warning plan:
https://bsa.nfipstat.fema.gov/reports/1011.htm#COT
https://www.fema.gov/average-claim-payments-date-loss
https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program
https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1486576697135-ac6348fb2a3d98ceba33cf3f38422dbc/Claim_Loss_Counts_Sept2016.pdf
https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1458666638945-d752cb148ef1348b4b1c22acec66a0bd/Claim_loss_count2015.pdf
https://www.fema.gov/media-library-data/1393877884619-3091f75bf9d46a26f5beb7d423c34529/Total_Claim_Count_fy2013.pdf
https://www.weather.gov/safety/flood-states-ma