Tennessee Flooding map

Does my Tennessee homeowner insurance cover flooding?

A typical Tennessee 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 Tennessee?

It is important to have flood insurance coverage in Tennessee 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 Tennessee 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.

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.  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/

flooding in Tennessee

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.

Flood Nerd broken hart in RainBecause 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 Tennessee, 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” then it really is.

The average cost for Tennessee 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 Tennessee 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 Tennessee?

Tennessee NFIP flood insurance.

There are many options available in Tennessee regarding flood insurance, but they basically fall into two main categories. The Government option also referred to as FEMA or NFIP 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.

Not “private flood insurance” but NFIP Resellers

 

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
State Farm Flood Insurance and the FEMA policy
Nationwide Flood Insurance of NFIP

Tennessee private flood insurance market

 

Lloyds of London flood Insurance quote
A Lloyds of London Flood insurance quote might make sense for you

There 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 Tennessee . 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.

TN flood insurance get a quote

Lloyds of London Flood Insurance Tennessee Market

 

Tennessee 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.

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 Tennessee ’s flood insurance market.  If you are interested, the links are below.

TN Lloyds of London Flood Insurance

Tennessee Private flood insurance vs FEMA

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.

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 Tennessee?

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

Tennessee 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.

The average cost for flood insurance in Tennessee 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 Tennessee 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 Tennessee with a slab on grade foundation.

We will look at the Tennessee 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 Tennessee.

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

Our example is in Nashville, but the premiums will be the same if in Memphis, Chattanooga, Knox, Rutherford, and many other Tennessee flood ones.

In our example, the Base Flood Elevation (BFE is 416.3) and is a home that is built before 1973

Base Flood elevation Oregon

NFIP option in Tennessee 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 $ 2,946.00

 

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

 

Tennessee 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 $889.01

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.

Tennessee 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 $900.90

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 5368, if the lowest floor is 5364, 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.

 

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 $ 2,356.00

 

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 $814.70 (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.

Flood Nerds Have fun
Lloyds of London Flood Insurance Jumping in

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 $ 1,033.23

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 $940.18

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.

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

Currently, Tennessee has 28,551 NFIP policies in force to date with the total cost of $24,574,361.  That would make the average flood rate for Tennessee $861. Of course, some will pay more, and some will pay less.

Click here to have us shop and save you money.

Better Flood Insurance is the best shopper for you.
Let us to the flood insurance shopping for you – Save time.

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

Let’s start off with a group including Oak Ridge, Oliver Springs, Shelbyville, Cleveland, and Cannon, Tennessee where the average flood rate is $974.  The number of policies in these areas total 411 with $400,445 in total premiums.

The next group includes Blount, Maryville, and Bradley, Tennessee where the number of policies add up to 299.  The flood premiums total $265,790 which allows the average flood rate to be $889.

In Carter, Tennessee, the average flood rate is $1,050.  Carter has 255 active flood policies with $267,864 in written premium.

The average flood rate in Elizabethton, Johnson City, and Ashland City, Tennessee is $1,281.  The policies here number 470 with $602,270 in flood premiums.

$891 is the average flood rate in Cheatham, Tennessee.  The premiums in Cheatham total $228,069 with 256 in active flood policies.

Looking at Pegram, Cocke, Tullahoma, and Alamo, Tennessee, we find an average flood rate of $930.  There are 252 flood policies in effect with $234,247 in total premiums.

Now let’s check out Belle Meade, Forest Hills, and Goodlettsville, Tennessee where there are 296 active flood policies.  The average flood rate for these areas is $807 which includes $238,852 in flood premiums.

Flood insurance Nashville, TN

Hello Nashville, Tennessee!  Nashville has the highest number of active policies in the state with 5,874!  The premiums in Nashville total $5,081,825 which allows the average flood rate to be $865.

Flood zone map Nashville, TN

A group of areas including Oak Hill, Decatur, Dyer, Dyersburg, Green, and Morristown, Tennessee have an average flood rate of $949.  These areas have 535 flood policies in effect with $507,546 in total premiums.

Fayette County, TN flood map

Let’s look at Fayette, Humboldt, Giles, and Pulaski, Tennessee where they have $230,788 in flood premiums.  The policies here number 249 which allows the average flood rate to be $927.

Flood insurance Chattanooga, TN

Welcome to our site Chattanooga, Tennessee!  Chattanooga, you all have 1,400 active flood policies.  The premiums here total $1,351,504 which causes the average flood rate to be $965.

In East Ridge, Tennessee, the average flood rate is $1,191.  The premiums in East Ridge total $434,542 with 365 active flood policies.

Hamilton county, TN flood zone map

Next up is Hamilton, Tennessee where there are 265 flood policies in effect.  Hamilton has an average flood rate of $668 with $176,993 in total flood premiums.

$1,650 is the average flood rate in Red Bank, Tennessee.  Red Bank has 116 active flood policies and $191,384 in written premiums.

231 flood policies are in effect in Soddy-Daisy, Tennessee.  Soddy-Daisy has an average flood rate of $902.  The premiums total $208,265 in Soddy-Daisy.

In Hardin, Kingsport, and Brownsville, Tennessee, the average flood rate is $857.  These areas have 375 active flood policies with $321,211 in premiums.

The premiums total $314,668 in Paris, Hickman, and Waverly, Tennessee.  The average flood rate for these areas is $1,380 with 228 flood policies in effect.

A group of areas that include White Pine, Johnson, Mountain City, and Farragut, Tennessee have 201 active flood policies.  The average flood rate here is $793 with $159,448 in total flood premiums.

In Knox, Tennessee, the average flood rate is $769.  The premiums in Knox total $467,567 with 608 flood policies in effect.

Flood insurance Knoxville, TN

The average flood rate rises to $922 in Knoxville, Tennessee.  Knoxville has 370 flood policies in effect with $341,268 in premiums.

Looking at a group that includes Lauderdale, Loudon, Jackson, and Madison, Tennessee, we find an average flood rate of $775.  These areas have $330,176 in flood premiums with 426 active flood policies.

In Marion, South Pittsburg, Lewisburg, and Marshall, Tennessee, we find $185,193 in total flood premiums with 214 active flood policies.  The average flood rate for these areas is $865.

The average flood rate in Columbia, Maury, and Spring Hill, Tennessee is $699.  The premiums for these areas total $217,286 with 311 flood policies in effect.

Clarksville, TN flood map

The average flood rate rises to $1,007 in Clarksville, Tennessee.  Clarksville has 349 active flood policies with $351,380 in flood premiums.

When we look at Montgomery, Obion, and Union, Tennessee, we find 174 flood policies in effect.  These areas have an average flood rate of $959 which includes $166,911 in total premiums.

Collierville, TN flood map

The average flood rate drops to $662 in Perry, Polk, and Cookeville, Tennessee.  These areas have 212 active flood policies with $140,299 in written premium.

As we look at Putnam, Dayton, and Spring City, Tennessee, we find 149 flood policies that are active.  The premiums here total $126,714 which allows the average flood rate to be $850.

Another group that includes Roane, Millersville, Portland, and Lavergne, Tennessee has an average flood rate of $862.  The premiums here add up to $285,229 with 331 active flood policies.

In Murfreesboro, Tennessee, there are 507 flood policies in effect with $433,071 in flood premiums.  The average flood rate in Murfreesboro is $854.

The average flood rate drops to $659 in Rutherford, Tennessee.  Rutherford has 612 active flood policies and $403,022 in written premium.

202 policies are in effect in Smyrna, Tennessee.  Smyrna has $178,035 in flood premiums which allows the average flood rate to be $881.

Let flood nerds shop

Flooding in Gatlinburg, TN

Gatlinburg, Tennessee has $285,745 in flood premiums with 382 active flood policies.  The average flood rate in Gatlinburg is $748.

Flooding in Gatlinburg, Tennessee

In Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, we find an average flood rate of $985.  The number of flood policies in effect in Pigeon Forge is 442 with $435,520 in written premium.

When we look at Sevier, Arlington, Lakeland, and Millington, Tennessee, we see 391 flood policies that are active with $268,865 in flood premiums.  The average flood rate for these areas is $688.

The average flood rate goes up to $1,015 in Sevierville, Tennessee.  Sevierville has $404,000 in flood premiums with 398 policies in effect.

$503 is the average flood rate for Bartlett, Tennessee.  Bartlett has 278 flood policies that are active with $139,815 in flood premiums.

Collierville, TM flood map

409 flood policies are active in Collierville, Tennessee.  The average flood rate in Collierville is $505 which includes $206,615 in written premium.

The average flood rate goes up to $582 in Germantown, Tennessee.  Germantown has $315,870 in flood premiums and 543 flood policies in effect.

Flood insurance Memphis, TN

Hello Memphis, Tennessee!  Thanks for stopping by!  Memphis has $1,055,316 in flood premiums with an average flood rate of $689.  Memphis has 1,531 flood policies that are active.

Shelby County, TN flood zone map

Shelby, Tennessee has 483 active flood policies with $307,992 in flood premiums.  The average flood rate for Shelby is $638.

Let’s check out a group of places including Carthage, Smith, Stewart, Bristol, and Sullivan, Tennessee where there are 422 flood policies in effect.  The average flood rate for these areas is $1,053 which includes $444,333 in written premium.

Flood insurance Gallatin, TN

$764 is the average flood rate for Gallatin, Tennessee.  Gallatin has 238 flood policies active with $181,825 in flood premiums.

The average flood rate drops to $651 in Hendersonville, Tennessee.  The premiums in Hendersonville total $255,702 with 393 flood policies in effect.

Sumner County, TN flood maps

261 flood policies are active in Sumner, Tennessee.  Sumner has $186,676 in flood premiums which allows the average flood rate to be $715.

When we look at Atoka, Tipton, Erwin, and Unicoi, Tennessee, we find an average flood rate to be $655.  The premiums for these areas add up to $181,406 with 277 active flood policies.

Our last group of areas include Washington, Wayne, and Mt. Juliet, Tennessee where the number of active flood policies add up to 321.  The premiums calculate out to $292,171 which allows the average flood rate to be $910.

Brentwood, Tennessee has an average flood rate to be $980.  The number of active flood policies include 478.  The premiums in Brentwood total up to $468,352.

$483,353 is the total for the flood premiums in Franklin, Tennessee.  Franklin has 570 flood policies in effect which causes the average flood rate to be $848.

Williamson County, TN flood map

The average flood rate drops to $686 in Williamson, Tennessee.  Williamson has 635 active flood policies and $435,720 in written premium.

280 flood policies are active in Lebanon, Tennessee.  Lebanon has an average flood rate of $1,102 which includes $308,570 in flood premiums. Give us a call Lebanon!

Finally, we’ll look at Wilson, Tennessee where the average flood rate is $554.  The active policies number 471 with $260,996 in written premium.

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

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.

Flood Nerds

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 New York and New Jersey would see reduced flood insurance rates through private insurers.





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-tn