idaho flood zone map

Does my Idaho homeowner insurance cover flooding?

A typical Idaho 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.

Do I need flood insurance in Idaho?

It is important to have flood insurance coverage in Idaho 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 Idaho 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 too close to our home.

Flood mapping

If 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.  80 percent of these individuals had water in their homes or buildings 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 often hear that people believe the government will help, which is true.  However, a few things 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 – Homeowners’ average amount of assistance 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 as a loan, and you will need to pay it back.  Are you willing to gamble on your financial future by forgoing flood insurance coverage?

https://www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2017-fema-faulty-flood-maps/

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, there is likely more concrete, creating a barrier for land that previously might have absorbed the massive downpour.

idaho flood mapBecause 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 of part of the risk. Our recent storms are facts that it can rain anywhere within Idaho, and you should consider getting flood coverage so you are not uninsured when you need it most.

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” than it is.

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

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

How much is flood insurance in Idaho?

Idaho NFIP flood insurance.

There are many options available in Idaho regarding flood insurance, but they fall into two main categories.

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

2 – Not “private flood insurance” but NFIP Resellers

If you have Nationwide Flood Insurance, State Farm Flood Insurance, Progressive Flood Insurance, or any 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.

Not Private flood Insurance

Idaho private flood insurance market

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

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

https://www.betterflood.com/quote/

Lloyd’s of London Flood Insurance Idaho Market

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

Lloyd’s of London has a rich history attributed to having invented the first modern insurance model. Unlike most of its competition, Lloyd’s of London is not a company but a corporate body.  This structure works well since it has been around for over 330 years. Lloyd’s operates under multiple financial backers pooling their capital to spread the risk.

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

Lloyd’s of London Flood Insurance

NFIP vs Private flood insurance market

Lloyd’s also insures the world for flood insurance, meaning they cover flooding events in India, Australia, and much of Europe.  The “game” of insurance is to spread your risk since Lloyd’s is worldwide.

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

How much does flood insurance cost in Idaho?

Many factors go into getting the cost of flood insurance for Idaho. If your home is in what is considered a low-to-moderate risk, you can get a heavily subsidized policy through the government.

Idaho 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 the grid below):

$250K (Residental) /$500K (commercial) Building
NFIP Maximum Coverage Limits

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

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

Your property is in a higher-risk flood zone, usually identified with a Flood Zone AE. Your lender will require you to have flood insurance. The cost of flood insurance in Idaho depends on many factors unique to the structure. We will try to give you an idea of the most common homes we see in Idaho with a slab-on-grade foundation.

We will look at the Idaho 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 and on a few of our private flood insurance policies, specifically Lloyds flood insurance options in Idaho.




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

Our example is in Boise, ID, but the premiums will be the same in Eagle, Garden City, Meridian, Star, Blaine County, Canyon County, Nampa, ID, and many other Idaho flood zones.

In our example, the Base Flood Elevation (BFE is 2704) and is a home that is built before 1980.

Base Flood elevation Oregon

NFIP option in Idaho 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 $ $2,152.00

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.

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

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

Lloyd’s of London (option 1) Annual premium in High-Risk flood zone is $950

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.

Idaho Private flood insurance – Lloyd’s of London Flood Insurance (option 2)

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

Lloyd’s of London (option 2)  Annual premium in High-Risk flood zone is $1,116.91

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 in a designated floodway or has a depth of -4 under the BFE.  In our example, with our BFE being 2704, they will not accept this risk if the lowest floor is 2699.  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, that will need to be added.

Idaho Private Flood insurance –  Lloyd’s of London (option 3)

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

Lloyd’s of London (option 3)  Annual premium in High-Risk flood zone is $1,824.00

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 the above options. We can adjust coverages to control premiums. As mentioned before, these underwriters’ rates are all over the board.  It is worth shopping through to ensure we are getting you the best premium possible. They don’t need an elevation certificate to rate.

Idaho Private Flood insurance –  Lloyd’s of London (option 4)

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

Lloyd’s of London (option 4)  Annual premium in High-Risk flood zone is $1,637.00

This option came from the company that used to run the NFIP program, so the coverage matches the NFIP coverage with two differences. They offer living expenses covering 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.

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

Click here to have our shop and save you money.

How much is flood insurance in Idaho?

Howdy, Idaho!  Thanks for visiting our page for all your flood insurance needs.  Ada, Idaho, has 325 effective policies with $174,308 in written premiums.  The average flood policy rate is $536 for Ada, Idaho.

Flood insurance in Idaho

Boise has the most flood policies in the state, with 820 active policies.  This causes Boise, Idaho’s average flood rate to be $707.  This includes $579,690 in written premiums.

Three hundred fifty-one flood policies are active in Eagle, Idaho.  The average rate in this area is $543, which includes $190,426 in premiums.

Hello Garden City, Idaho!  Thanks for stopping by!  The average flood rate for your area is $657.  This includes $348,298 in written premiums for 530 policies.

The average flood rate for Meridian and Star, Idaho, is $875.  This is a little higher than the state average.  The rates for Meridian and Star include 130 policies with $113,750 in premiums.

Ninety-four policies with $77,119 in written premiums make up the totals for Bannock and Pocatello, Idaho.  This causes the average flood rate in these areas to be $820.

Benewah, Idaho – Hello!  Your area has 67 active flood policies with $55,554 in written premiums.  This allows the average rate in your area to be $829.

One hundred three policies are active in Bingham and Blackfoot, Idaho.  This includes $85,664 in written premiums which causes the average flood rate for this area to be $832.

The average flood rate in Bellevue and Blaine, Idaho, is $675.  The written premiums for this area are $180,996, which includes 268 active policies.

$1109 is the average flood rate policy for Hailey, Ketchum, and Sun Valley, Idaho.  This includes 207 active policies and $229,581 in premiums.

The average policy rate drops lower than the state average coming in at $536 for Boise, Horseshoe Bend, and Idaho City, Idaho.  The total number of policies is 40, with $21,427 in premiums.

Moving on to Bonner and East Hope, Idaho, you all have 220 active flood policies.  The premiums total up to $161,646, which allows the average flood rate to be $735 for this area.

Hello Sandpoint, Idaho!  Glad you stopped by!  Your average flood rate for Sandpoint is $385.  The number of active flood policies is 98.  The written premiums total up to $37,755.

One hundred twenty-two active policies make up the areas of Ammon, Bonneville, Idaho Falls, Idaho.  The written premiums for these areas add up to $89,167, which causes the average flood rate policy to be $731.

The average flood rate for Caldwell, Canyon, Middleton, and Nampa, Idaho is $759.  The written premium totals $380,118, which includes 501 active flood policies.

Mountain Home, Idaho, thanks for checking out our page!  Your average flood rate is $1027.  This is computed from the $63,617 in flood policy premiums and the 62 active policies in your area.

$1,362 is the average flood rate for Gooding, Idaho.  The total active policies in Gooding, Idaho, include 51 with $69,484 in written premiums.

Looking at Jefferson and Roberts, Idaho, you all have 53 active flood policies.  Your average flood policy rate is $518.  This includes $27,447 in written flood premiums.

Coeur D’Alene, Kootenai, and Rathdrum, Idaho, has an average flood rate of $965.  This includes 284 policies in effect with $274,142 in written premiums.

In Genesee, Latah, and Moscow, Idaho, there are 137 flood policies in effect.  The average flood rate is $833, including $114,053 in written premiums for these areas.

$1,049 is the average flood rate for Lemhi and Salmon, Idaho.  This rate is higher than the state average.  Maybe we can help you find a better rate!  There are 78 active flood policies in Lemhi and Salmon, which allow the premiums to be $81,831.

The average rate is even higher in Madison and Rexburg, Idaho, coming in at $1,084.  There are only 49 policies and $53,124 in premiums in this area.

Kellogg, Idaho, you all have quite a few flood policies – 356 to be exact!  This causes your average flood rate for Kellogg to be $416.  This includes $148,086 in written premiums.

Pinehurst, Shoshone, Smelterville, and Wallace, your total active flood policies are 155.  The premiums for these policies add up to $172,629, which causes the average flood policy to rate at $1,114.

Twin Falls, Idaho!  Your average rate is just a little lower at $1,015.  This includes $72,098 in premiums with 71 active policies.  Thanks for stopping by Twin Falls!



Yep, please shop my flood insurance



Flood Insurance Calculator Idaho

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 yearly. 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. A recent white paper by Milliman found that 90 percent of homes in Sandy-struck New York and New Jersey would see reduced flood insurance rates through private insurers.



ROBERT MURPHY
Robert Murphy is the Founder of Better Flood Insurance, a nationwide Flood Insurance Agency. He is a Flood Nerd™ and is passionate about education about the need for Flood Insurance.
We shop many options to make sure we are getting our clients great coverage at a great price.