WI flooding mapYes Please shop my flood insurance

Does my Wisconsin homeowner insurance cover flooding?

A typical Wisconsin 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.

Wisconsin Flooding map

Do I need flood insurance in Wisconsin?

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

Flood Plain Map Wisconsin

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.

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Flooding in Wisconsin map

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/

Flood plain map wisconsin

Wisconsin Flood zone map

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.

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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 Wisconsin, 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.

Wisconsin flood zone map

The average cost for Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin?

There are many options available in Wisconsin regarding flood insurance, but they basically fall into two main categories. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) which is government-run through FEMA and the Private flood insurance market (Typically Lloyds of London but other smaller options are out there as well)

Wisconsin NFIP flood insurance.

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.

Progressive Flood Insurancehttps://www.fema.gov/wyo_company
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Private flood insurance Wisconsin

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 Wisconsin. 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 Wisconsin Market

 

Wisconsin 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.

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

Lloyds of London Flood Insurance

Private flood insurance vs FEMA

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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 Wisconsin?

There are many factors that go into getting the cost of flood insurance for Wisconsin. 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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Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin with a basement foundation.

We will look at the Wisconsin 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 Wisconsin.

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

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Our example is in Green Bay, but the premiums will be the same if in Fond du Lac, La Crosse, Milwaukee, Winnebago and many other Wisconsin flood ones.

In our example, the Base Flood Elevation (BFE is 591) and is a home that is built before 1973

Base Flood elevation Oregon

NFIP option in Wisconsin 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 $3,022.00

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

 

FEMA FLood Insurance Rate Maps

Wisconsin 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 $807.53

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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Wisconsin 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 $1,034.15

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 591, if the lowest floor is 587, 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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Better Flood Insurance is the best shopper for you.
Let us to the flood insurance shopping for you – Save time.

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 $2,720.45

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

The annual premium in High-Risk flood zone is $1,258.66.

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.

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 $1,015.86

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.

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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 $1,305.05

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.

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

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Wisconsin Flood Zone map

Currently, Wisconsin has 12,112 NFIP policies in force to date with the total cost of $11,790,299. That would make the average for Wisconsin $973. Of course, some will pay more, and some will pay less.

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Flood Insurance Wisconsin

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

Let’s start off with Adams and Allouez, Wisconsin where there are 145 flood policies in effect with $121,469 in total premiums.  The average flood rate here is $838.

Next, we move on to Green Bay, Wisconsin.  Green Bay is the home of the Green Bay Packers!  Green Bay also has the highest number of flood policies in the state at 707!  The premiums here total up to $802,194 with an average flood rate of $1,135.

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In Howard and Suamico, Wisconsin, we have an average flood rate of $1,050.  The total number of policies here is 122 with $128,137 in total premiums.

$1,061 is the average flood rate for Burnett and Chippewa, Wisconsin.  The premiums here total $156,013 with 147 active flood policies.

In Eau Claire, Wisconsin, there are 104 active flood policies.  The premium here totals $105,515 which allows the average flood rate to be $1,015.

Let’s check out Columbia and Columbus, Wisconsin where the average flood rate is $939.  The active flood policies total 131 with $123,032 in premiums.

There are 162 active flood policies in Dane, Wisconsin.  The average flood rate is $656 with $106,297 in total premiums.

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When we look at Madison, Wisconsin, we see an average flood rate of $540.  The active policies in Madison total 221 with $119,334 in total premiums.

$828 is the average flood rate for Dodge and Door, Wisconsin.  The premiums for these areas total up to $139,869 with 169 flood policies in effect.

154 flood policies are active in Sturgeon Bay and Dunn, Wisconsin.  The average flood rate for these areas is $791 which includes $121,793 in total flood premiums.

Next, we’ll look at Fond du Lac, Wisconsin, where the average flood rate is $857.  The total number of active flood policies in Fond du Lac is 480.  The premiums here total $325,893.

FLOOD NERD

In Kewaskum, Grant, and Fort Atkinson, Wisconsin, there are 135 active flood policies with $130,603 in premiums.  The average flood rate for these areas is $967.

Jefferson, Wisconsin has an average flood rate of $1,143 with 155 active policies.  The premiums in Jefferson total up to $177,104.

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$196,252 is the total of premiums for Juneau, Kenosha, and Pleasant Prairie, Wisconsin.  The average flood rate for all these areas is $755 which includes 260 flood policies in effect.

Looking at La Crosse, Wisconsin, we find an average flood rate of $1,036.  There are 590 flood policies in effect in La Crosse with $611,231 in total premiums.

The average flood rate for Marathon and Rothschild, Wisconsin is about the same, coming in at $1,032.  This includes $161,047 in flood premiums and 156 active flood policies.

The average flood rate drops to $814 in Wausau and Marinette, Wisconsin.  The premiums in these areas total $113,178 with 139 active flood policies.

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235 flood policies are in effect in Fox Point and Glendale, Wisconsin.  The premiums total up to $336,358 which allows the average flood rate to be $1,431.

Hello Milwaukee, Wisconsin!  Thanks for stopping by!  Your average flood rate is $687.  The total number of flood policies here is 364 with $250,116 in premiums.

Let’s check out a group of areas: Wauwatosa, Whitefish Bay, and Kendall, Wisconsin, where the average flood rate is $794.  The total number of flood policies in effect is 247 which includes $196,150 in total flood premiums.

Monroe, Wisconsin has 132 active flood policies and $93,020 in total premiums.  The average flood rate for Monroe is $705.

$841 is the average flood rate for Oconto, Wisconsin.  The premiums in Oconto total $128,742 which includes 153 flood policies in effect.

107 flood policies are active in New London, Wisconsin.  The average flood rate in New London is $1,253 which includes $134,076 in total premiums.

In Outagamie, Wisconsin, we find 106 flood policies in effect and $107,206 in total premiums.  The average flood rate in Outagamie is $1,011.

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When we look at Mequon, Wisconsin, we find an average flood rate of $1,209.  The total number of policies in effect here is 153 with $157,490 in total flood premiums.

There are 139 total policies in effect in Ozaukee and Saukville, Wisconsin.  The premiums in these areas add up to $207,813 which allows the average flood rate to be $1,495.

Racine, Wisconsin has average flood rate of $1,147 with 216 flood policies in effect.  The premiums in Racine total to $247,818.

Let’s check out Beloit, Reedsburg, Sauk, Sawyer, St. Croix, Arcadia, Brookfield, and Menomonee Falls, Wisconsin.  These areas have a total of 565 active flood policies.  The average flood rate for all of these areas is $777 which includes $438,792 in total premiums.

Looking at another group of cities: Janesville, Rock, Plymouth, Sheboygan, Richfield, Washington, Muskego, and New Berlin, Wisconsin, we see the average flood rate is a little higher at $1,112.  The flood premiums here total $759,259 which includes 683 active flood policies.

In Waukesha, Wisconsin, we find 103 flood policies in effect with $77,992 in flood premiums.  The average flood rate for Waukesha is $757.

$885 is the average flood rate for Waupaca and Waushara, Wisconsin.  The premiums here total up to $119,493 which includes 135 total flood policies in effect.

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148 total flood policies are active in Oshkosh, Wisconsin.  The average flood rate in Oshkosh is $1,117 which includes $165,326 in flood premiums.

Finally, we check out Winnebago, Wisconsin where the average flood rate is $944.  There area $301,152 in premiums, which includes 319 active flood policies.

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

Cost of Flood Insurance in Wisconsin

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.

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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-wi