Vermont Flood insurance  | Vermont flood zone maps

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Does my Vermont homeowner insurance cover flooding?

A typical Vermont 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 Vermont?

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

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We believe that most homeowners think about Flood insurance in Vermont 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.

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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/

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.

VT flood zone map

Vermont Flood Zone Map

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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 Vermont, 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 Vermont 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 Vermont 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.

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How much is flood insurance in Vermont?

Vermont NFIP flood insurance.

There are many options available in Vermont regarding flood insurance, but they basically fall into two main categories. The government option also called 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

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

Progressive Flood Insurance

Vermont 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 Vermont. 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 Vermont Market

 

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

Lloyds of London Flood Insurance

FEMA vs Private flood insurance

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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 Vermont?

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

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Vermont 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):

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 Vermont with the maximum set limits in these Low-risk flood zone areas is $405 – $700 per year.

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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 Vermont 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 Vermont with a basement foundation.

We will look at the Vermont 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 Vermont.

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

Our example is in Montpelier, but the premiums will be the same if in Barre, Waterbury, Bennington, Ludlow, and many other Vermont flood ones.

In our example, the Base Flood Elevation (BFE is 525.8) and is a home that is built before 1973

SHFA

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NFIP option in Vermont 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 $2,647.00

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

 

Vermont 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 $776.00

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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Vermont 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 $635.50

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 525.8, if the lowest floor is 521, 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

Private flood insurance (option 3)

Annual premium in High-Risk flood zone is $2,382.00

 

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.

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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 $963.23

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.

FEMA FLood Insurance Rate Maps

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

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Currently, Vermont has 3,549 NFIP policies in force to date with the total cost of $4,937,502.  That would make the average flood rate for Vermont $1,391. Of course, some will pay more, and some will pay less.

Click here to have us shop and save you money.

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

Let’s start off with a group of areas that include Ferrisburg, Hancock, Middlebury, and Arlington, Vermont where the premiums total $77,555.  The average flood rate for these areas is $776 which includes 100 active flood policies.

Flooding in Bennington VT  |  Flood insurance in Bennington Vermont

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Next up is Bennington, Vermont where the average flood rate rises to $1,092.  In Bennington, there are 158 flood policies active with $172,603 in written premium.

Next up is Dorset, Manchester, and Pownal, Vermont where the flood policies in effect total 82 with $109,004 in flood premiums.  The average flood rate for these areas is $1,329.

Our next group includes Hardwick, Lyndon, and St. Johnsbury, Vermont where the average flood rate rises to $1,421.  The premiums for these areas total $113,707 with 80 active flood policies.

In Burlington, Vermont, there are 43 active flood policies with $33,915 in written premium.  The average flood rate for Burlington is $789.

The average flood rate drops to $540 in Colchester, Vermont.  Colchester has 44 active flood policies with $23,779 in flood premiums.

Let’s look at Huntington and Shelburne, Vermont where the number of active flood policies is 44.  The premiums total $50,747 which allows the average flood rate to be $1,153.

Richmond, Vermont has 65 active flood policies with $74,621 in written premiums.  Richmond’s average flood rate is $1,148.

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The premiums in St. Albans and Swanton, Vermont total $56,645 with 73 active flood policies.  The average flood rate for these areas is $776.

$781 is the average flood rate for North Hero, Vermont.  North Hero has 42 flood policies in effect with $32,781 in flood premiums.

Our next group include Stowe, Randolph, and Thetford, Vermont where the average flood rate is $1,433.  The premiums in these areas add up to $114,623 with 80 active flood policies.

Brandon, Castleton, and Poultney, Vermont have a combined total of 54 flood policies active with $62,040 in written premium.  The average flood rate for these areas comes in at $1,149.

Now, looking at Rutland, Vermont, we see the average flood rate rises to $1,492.  The premiums in Rutland total $114,847 with 77 active flood policies.

In Wallingford and Berlin, Vermont, we find 87 flood policies in effect with $165,028 in total premiums.  The average flood rate for these areas is $1,897.

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Barre city Vermont flooding  | Flood insurance in Barre, VT

151 flood policies are in effect in Barre, Vermont.  The premiums in Barre total $294,532 which allows the average flood rate to be $1,951.  Give us a call Barre!

Montpelier Vermont flood insurance

$501,164 is the premium total for Montpelier, Vermont.  Montpelier has 208 active flood policies while the average flood rate is $2,409.

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

Let’s check out Moretown and Northfield, Vermont where the average flood rate is $1,110 with $96,544 in premiums.  The policies for these areas add up to 87.

$736 is the average flood rate in Waitsfield and Warren, Vermont.  The premiums for these areas add up to $34,605 with 47 active flood policies.

Flooding Waterbury VT | Flood insurance Waterbury, Vermont

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Waterbury, Vermont has $271,794 in flood premiums with 126 flood policies in effect.  The average flood rate for Waterbury is $2,157.

The average flood rate rises to $2,295 in Brattleboro, Vermont.  Brattleboro has $188,174 in flood premiums with 82 policies in effect.

Let’s look at a group of areas that include Grafton, Jamaica, Newfane, Bridgewater, Cavendish, and Chester, Vermont where the premiums add up to $231,294.  The active flood policies total 184 which allows the average flood rate to be $1,257.

Our next group includes Westminster, Wilmington, Bethel, Hartford, and Norwich, Vermont where the number of flood policies in effect total 156.  The premiums total up to $293,674 while the average flood rate for these areas is $1,883.

Flooding Ludlow VT  |  Flood Insurance in Ludlow, Vermont

The average flood rate drops to $1,261 in Ludlow, Vermont.  Ludlow has 133 active flood policies with $167,711 in flood premiums.

The final group we’ll look at includes Springfield and Woodstock, Vermont where the premiums total $224,580 with 105 active flood policies.  The average flood rate for these areas is $2,139.

Finally, Windsor, Vermont has 61 flood policies in effect with $87,516 in flood premiums.  The average flood rate for Windsor is $1,435.

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

Vermont Flood Insurance Cost Calculator

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

FLOOD NERD FISHING

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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-vt

 

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