Flood insurance is available to all residents of Clark County and the incorporated cities within its boundaries, whether the property is located within a flood zone or not. For a single family home $250,000 coverage for the structure and $100,000 coverage for the contents is available.
Policies covering damages to personal property are available to renters as well as homeowners. The National Flood Insurance Program is backed and subsidized by the Federal government. The actual flood insurance policies, however, are available through most insurance companies.
Typical homeowners insurance does NOT provide coverage for damages to either structures or belongings resulting from floods. Flood zone boundaries have been determined by FEMA in consultation with the local communities and are shown on Flood Insurance Rate Maps. These maps can be viewed on the District website or a flood zone determination for a specific property can be obtained from the Public Works Department of the entity where the structure is located.
Structures in Non-Flood Hazard Areas
Flood insurance is available, but optional, if the structure is not located in a Special Flood Hazard Area, typically designated Zone X on Flood Insurance Rate Map. If you choose to purchase flood insurance, rates are much lower for structures not located in a flood hazard area.
Structures in Flood Hazard Areas
Flood insurance is mandatory for structures located in a Special Flood Hazard Area, typically designated as Zone A, AO, AE or AH on Flood Insurance Rate Map, when structure will serve as collateral for a federally backed loan (i.e. FHA, VA, etc.) If structure does not serve as collateral for a federally backed loan, flood insurance is available and recommended, but optional.
Factors to Consider When Choosing to Buy Flood Insurance
It is important to remember that properties not located within a designated flood zone may still be subject to flooding. All subdivisions constructed after 1992 have been designed to be flood protected from a 100 year flood design flow. That is a flood that has a 1% chance of being equaled or exceeded in any given year. Floods greater than a 100 year flood have and will occur. Many factors affect the flood hazard susceptibility of a home or business. Several factors that can be considered when choosing to buy flood insurance are:
- Construction date of home. Flood protection for homes constructed prior to 1992 may not have been designed to the same minimum standards as those constructed after.
- Is the home located near a drainage way? Many subdivisions have 10' to 15' wide drainage ways that allow floodwaters to leave the subdivision. Typically, these drainage ways were designed to convey a 100 year design flow in most cases. If actual flow exceeds design flow or there is a debris clog or other malfunction, flooding could occur.
- Has the lot around the structure experienced flooding?
- Is the home located on the down slope end of a road with a "T" intersection or cul-de-sac? Streets are designed to carry 100 year flood flows within certain limits. Flows exceeding that quantity or flows expected to make sharp turns may cause flooding.
- Does a block wall separate the lot from a major street that historically carries flood flows? These streets are designed to convey 100 year flows within certain limits. Flows exceeding that quantity might cause flood damage.
- Other factors may be important to consider.
Contact your public works department for more information on flood hazards. Contact your insurance provider for information on flood insurance. To find out more information on purchasing flood insurance, visit FloodSmart.gov.