Flood Insurance

Published on AidPage by IDILOGIC on Jun 24, 2005

Administered by:

US Federal Government Agency (see all agencies)
Department Of Homeland Security
CFDA #: 97.022

Purpose of this program:

To enable persons to purchase insurance against physical damage to or loss of buildings and/or contents therein caused by floods, mudslide (i.e., mudflow), or flood-related erosion, thereby reducing Federal disaster assistance payments, and to promote wise floodplain management practices in the Nation's flood-prone and mudflow- prone areas.

Possible uses and use restrictions...

Under the Emergency Program of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), property owners may buy flood insurance at a chargeable premium rate that is generally lower than a normal actuarial rate. Maximum amounts of such coverage available under the Emergency Program of the NFIP are: $35,000 for a single-family home (higher limits are available in Hawaii, Alaska, Guam and the U.S. Virgin Islands), $100,000 for all other residential structures, plus $10,000 per dwelling unit for any contents; for nonresidential structures, an aggregate liability for any single structure of $100,000 and for contents, $100,000 per unit. Once a detailed flood insurance risk study has been completed and the community enters the Regular Program, additional coverage on existing properties may be purchased at actuarial rates. As of March 1, 1995, the maximum coverage available under the Regular Program is: $250,000 for single-family residential structures; 250,000 times this number of condominium units for a residential condominium building, $250,000 for all other residential structures; $100,000 for contents per dwelling unit; $500,000 for non-residential structures; $500,000 for contents of non-residential structures. Effective October 1, 1983, coverage is no longer available for finished portions of basements with the exception of equipment necessary to make the building habitable, (e.g., furnaces). Properties built within identified special flood hazard areas after the effective date of the Flood Insurance Rate Map are eligible for flood insurance only at actuarial rates. Under the Flood Disaster Protection Act of 1973, effective March 2, 1974, flood insurance must be purchased as a condition of any form of Federal or federally-related financial assistance, including Federal grants, disaster assistance, and mortgage loans from federally regulated lending institutions and FHA, Farmers Home Administration, VA or guaranteed mortgages when the improved real property to which the transaction applies is located within identified special flood hazard areas where flood insurance is available. Communities having one or more identified special flood hazard areas must enter into the National Flood Insurance Program within 1 year of the official identification of their special flood hazard areas or be denied Federal financial assistance for acquisition or construction purposes within those areas. Federally regulated conventional sources (i.e., banks, savings and loan associations, or similar lending institutions) are permitted to make loans secured by improved real estate or Manufactured Housing located or to be located in the identified special flood hazard area of a nonparticipating community which has been formally identified as flood-prone for more than 1 year, but Federal disaster assistance for acquisition or construction purposes will not be available in the event of flood or flood-related property damage. The conventional lender is statutorily required to notify the borrower, before making a loan in such an area, whether Federal disaster assistance will be available to the property. The Coastal Barrier Improvement Act of 1990 amended the Coastal Barrier Resources Act of 1982 by greatly enlarging the acreage included in the designated coastal barrier resources system unit. The 1990 Act also added "otherwise protected areas." "Otherwise protected areas" are defined as an undeveloped coastal barrier within the boundaries of an area established under Federal, State, or local law, or held by a qualified organization, primarily for wildlife refuge, sanctuary, recreational or natural resource conservation purposes. The 1982 Act prohibits the sale of new flood insurance on or after October 1, 1983 for new construction or substantial improvements of structures located on any coastal barrier with the Coastal Barrier Resources System designated by this Act. The1990 Act prohibits the sale of new flood insurance on or after

Who is eligible to apply...

Flood insurance can be made available in any community (a State or political subdivision thereof with authority to adopt and enforce floodplain management measures for the areas within its jurisdiction) that submits a properly completed application to FEMA including copies of enacted floodplain management measures consistent with the National Flood Insurance Program regulations.

Eligible Applicant Categories:
Eligible Functional Categories:

Same as Applicant Eligibility. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-87.

Note:This is a brief description of the credentials or documentation required prior to, or along with, an application for assistance.

About this section:

This section indicates who can apply to the Federal government for assistance and the criteria the potential applicant must satisfy. For example, individuals may be eligible for research grants, and the criteria to be satisfied may be that they have a professional or scientific degree, 3 years of research experience, and be a citizen of the United States. Universities, medical schools, hospitals, or State and local governments may also be eligible. Where State governments are eligible, the type of State agency will be indicated (State welfare agency or State agency on aging) and the criteria that they must satisfy.

Certain federal programs (e.g., the Pell Grant program which provides grants to students) involve intermediate levels of application processing, i.e., applications are transmitted through colleges or universities that are neither the direct applicant nor the ultimate beneficiary. For these programs, the criteria that the intermediaries must satisfy are also indicated, along with intermediaries who are not eligible.

How to apply...

Application Procedure:

Community officials must submit an NFIP eligibility application form, which is available from the FEMA, together with: copies of adopted floodplain management measures meeting the minimum standards of 44 CFR Section 60.3(a), 60.3(b), 60.3(c), 60.3(d), and/or 60.3(e), as appropriate for the type of flood hazards identified; a list of any incorporated communities within the applicant's boundaries; and estimates of population and, by kind, of buildings situated in the known flood-prone areas of the community. Such Applications should be submitted to the Mitigation Directorate, FEMA, Washington, DC 20472. This program is excluded from coverage under OMB Circular No. A-110.

Note: Each program will indicate whether applications are to be submitted to the Federal headquarters, regional or local office, or to a State or local government office.

Award Procedure:

FEMA reviews the application and if complete, designates the community as participating. The community is informed of its admission, and notice is published in the Federal Register. Residents and property owners may then purchase flood insurance through any property insurance agent or broker.

Note: Grant payments may be made by a letter of credit, advance by Treasury check, or reimbursement by Treasury check. Awards may be made by the headquarters office directly to the applicant, an agency field office, a regional office, or by an authorized county office. The assistance may pass through the initial applicant for further distribution by intermediate level applicants to groups or individuals in the private sector.

Deadlines and process...


Communities with one or more identified special flood hazard areas must enter the program within 1 year after the identification of those areas or else prohibitions against Federally related financial assistance for acquisition or construction purposes in identified special flood hazard areas take force. Once the community does qualify, after the prescribed date, these prohibitions are removed. Adequate floodplain management measures must be in effect within 6 months of the date that the special flood hazard area is identified and within 6 months of the date flood water surface elevations are provided.

Note: When available, this section indicates the deadlines for applications to the funding agency which will be stated in terms of the date(s) or between what dates the application should be received. When not available, applicants should contact the funding agency for deadline information.

Range of Approval/Disapproval Time

For complete applications, a maximum of 10 working days is allowed for review and notification.

Preapplication Coordination

Not applicable. This program is excluded from coverage under 44 CFR Part 13 and E.O. 12372.

Note: This section indicates whether any prior coordination or approval is required with governmental or nongovernmental units prior to the submission of a formal application to the federal funding agency.


Communities are allowed to appeal flood-prone identification and are also given an opportunity to appeal proposed flood elevation determinations for new construction and substantial improvement of existing structures in the special flood hazard areas. Notice of the proposed elevations is published in the Federal Register and is sent directly to the local governments. Following notification to the local government, the notice of proposed flood elevation determinations is published twice during a 10-day period in a prominent newspaper. The local community and its individual residents then have 90 days following the second newspaper notice to submit any scientific or technical data that tend to negate or contradict FEMA's findings. If a conflict in data exists and cannot be resolved at the community level, the community consolidates all individual appeals for review by FEMA. FEMA shall resolve the appeals by consultation with officials of the local government, or by submission of conflicting data to an independent scientific body, or by administrative hearings.

Note: In some cases, there are no provisions for appeal. Where applicable, this section discusses appeal procedures or allowable rework time for resubmission of applications to be processed by the funding agency. Appeal procedures vary with individual programs and are either listed in this section or applicants are referred to appeal procedures documented in the relevant Code of Federal Regulations (CFR).


Not applicable.

Note: In some instances, renewal procedures may be the same as for the application procedure, e.g., for projects of a non-continuing nature renewals will be treated as new, competing applications; for projects of an ongoing nature, renewals may be given annually.

Who can benefit...

Residents, business, and property owners in applicant community, in which like States can insure municipal structures.

About this section:

This section lists the ultimate beneficiaries of a program, the criteria they must satisfy and who specifically is not eligible. The applicant and beneficiary will generally be the same for programs that provide assistance directly from a Federal agency. However, financial assistance that passes through State or local governments will have different applicants and beneficiaries since the assistance is transmitted to private sector beneficiaries who are not obligated to request or apply for the assistance.

What types of assistance...


Financial assistance provided to assure reimbursement for losses sustained under specified conditions. Coverage may be provided directly by the Federal government or through private carriers and may or may not involve the payment of premiums.

How much financial aid...

Range and Average of Financial Assistance

Claims paid: $1 to $1,900,000; $28,691.

Note: This section lists the representative range (smallest to largest) of the amount of financial assistance available. These figures are based upon funds awarded in the past fiscal year and the current fiscal year to date. Also indicated is an approximate average amount of awards which were made in the past and current fiscal years.


(Insurance) FY 03 $109,343,000; FY 04 est $110,472,000; and FY 05 est $112,593,000.

Note: The dollar amounts listed in this section represent obligations for the past fiscal year (PY), estimates for the current fiscal year (CY), and estimates for the budget fiscal year (BY) as reported by the Federal agencies. Obligations for non-financial assistance programs indicate the administrative expenses involved in the operation of a program.

Account Identification


Note: Note: This 11-digit budget account identification code represents the account which funds a particular program. This code should be consistent with the code given for the program area as specified in Appendix III of the Budget of the United States Government.

Examples of funded projects...

Not applicable.

About this section

This section indicates the different types of projects which have been funded in the past. Only projects funded under Project Grants or Direct Payments for Specified Use should be listed here. The examples give potential applicants an idea of the types of projects that may be accepted for funding. The agency should list at least five examples of the most recently funded projects.

Program accomplishments...

As of November 2001, 19,706 communities participated; 4,364,634 policies in force; and $596,872,442,400 insurance in force.

Criteria for selecting proposals...

Not applicable.

Assistance considerations...

Length and Time Phasing of Assistance

Not applicable.

Formula and Matching Requirements

Not applicable.

A formula may be based on population, per capita income, and other statistical factors. Applicants are informed whether there are any matching requirements to be met when participating in the cost of a project. In general, the matching share represents that portion of the project costs not borne by the Federal government. Attachment F of OMB Circular No. A-102 (Office of Management and Budget) sets forth the criteria and procedures for the evaluation of matching share requirements which may be cash or in-kind contributions made by State and local governments or other agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals to satisfy matching requirements of Federal grants or loans.

Cash contributions represent the grantees' cash outlay, including the outlay of money contributed to the grantee by other public agencies, institutions, private organizations, or individuals. When authorized by Federal regulation, Federal funds received from other grants may be considered as the grantees' cash contribution.

In-kind contributions represent the value of noncash contributions provided by the grantee, other public agencies and institutions, private organizations or individuals. In-kind contributions may consist of charges for real property and equipment, and value of goods and services directly benefiting and specifically identifiable to the grant program. When authorized by Federal legislation, property purchased with Federal funds may be considered as grantees' in-kind contribution.

Maintenance of effort (MOE) is a requirement contained in certain legislation, regulations, or administrative policies stating that a grantee must maintain a specified level of financial effort in a specific area in order to receive Federal grant funds, and that the Federal grant funds may be used only to supplement, not supplant, the level of grantee funds.

Post assistance requirements...


Every two years to FEMA on progress of the floodplain management program.

Note: This section indicates whether program reports, expenditure reports, cash reports or performance monitoring are required by the Federal funding agency, and specifies at what time intervals (monthly, annually, etc.) this must be accomplished.


In accordance with the provisions of OMB Circular No. A- 133, "Audits of States, Local Governments, and Non-Profit Organizations," nonfederal entities that expend financial assistance of $500,000 or more in Federal awards will have an audit made for that year. Nonfederal entities that expend less than $500,000 a year in Federal awards is exempt from Federal audit requirements for that year, except as noted in Circular No. A-133.

Note: This section discusses audits required by the Federal agency. The procedures and requirements for State and local governments and nonprofit entities are set forth in OMB Circular No. A-133. These requirements pertain to awards made within the respective State's fiscal year - not the Federal fiscal year, as some State and local governments may use the calendar year or other variation of time span designated as the fiscal year period, rather than that commonly known as the Federal fiscal year (from October 1st through September 30th).


Specific elevation information on proposed new construction or substantial improvements in the area of special flood hazard. Backup data for biennial report.

Note: This section indicates the record retention requirements and the type of records the Federal agency may require. Not included are the normally imposed requirements of the General Accounting Office. For programs falling under the purview of OMB Circular No. A-102, record retention is set forth in Attachment C. For other programs, record retention is governed by the funding agency's requirements.



National Flood Insurance Act of 1968, 42 U.S.C. 4001 et seq.

Note: This section lists the legal authority upon which a program is based (acts, amendments to acts, Public Law numbers, titles, sections, Statute Codes, citations to the U.S. Code, Executive Orders, Presidential Reorganization Plans, and Memoranda from an agency head).

Regulations, Guidelines, And Literature

Regulation 44 CFR 59 et seq. Publication, "Answers to Questions About the National Flood Insurance Program," "Mandatory Purchase of Flood Insurance Guidelines," "Elevated Residential Structures," "Guide To Flood Insurance Rate Maps," "Flood Insurance Manual" (agents manual), "National Flood Insurance Program. Application Forms," "Manufactured Home Installation in Flood Hazard Areas," "Coastal Construction Manual," Alluvial Fans: Hazards and Management," "Floodplain Management in the United States: An Assessment Report," "Design Guidelines for Flood Damage Reduction" and "Repairing Your Flooded Home," "Technical Bulletin Series (FIA-TB)" "Answers to Questions About Substantially Damaged Buildings," "Reducing Losses in High Risk Flood Hazard Areas," "Design Manual for Retrofitting Flood- Prone Residential Structures" and "Flood Proofing Non-Residential Structures."

Contact information...

Web Sites
Regional Or Local Office

Contact the appropriate FEMA regional office, or the State office responsible for coordinating the program's activities.

Note: This section lists the agency contact person, address and telephone number of the Federal Regional or Local Office(s) to be contacted for detailed information regarding a program such as: (1) current availability of funds and the likelihood of receiving assistance within a given period; (2) pre-application and application forms required; (3) whether a pre-application conference is recommended; (4) assistance available in preparation of applications; (5) whether funding decisions are made at the headquarters, regional or local level; (6) application renewal procedures (including continuations and supplementals) or appeal procedures for rejected applications; and (7) recently published program guidelines and material. However, for most federal programs, this section will instruct the reader to consult the so-called Appendix IV of the Catalog due to the large volume of Regional and Local Office Contacts for most agencies. This information is provided in Additional Contact Information (see below).

Headquarters Office

Department of Homeland Security, 245 Murray Drive, SW., Washington, DC 20528. Telephone: (202) 282-8000.

Note: This section lists names and addresses of the office at the headquarters level with direct operational responsibility for managing a program. A telephone number is provided in cases where a Regional or Local Office is not normally able to answer detailed inquiries concerning a program. Also listed are the name(s) and telephone number(s) of the information contact person(s) who can provide additional program information to applicants.

Additional Contact Information (Appendix IV)

Due to the large volume of regional and local office contacts for most agencies, full contact information is also provided separately here in a PDF format: