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6 in 10 Homeowners in High-Risk Flood Zones Don't Have Flood Insurance, ValuePenguin.com Study Finds

In Major Cities like Detroit, St. Louis, Cleveland and Minneapolis, fewer than 2 in 100 homeowners have flood insurance.

NEW YORK, May 26, 2020 /PRNewswire/ -- Where disasters are concerned, 2020 is destined to go down in history as the year of the COVID-19 pandemic — but that doesn't make the threat of seasonal weather events any less urgent. As the Atlantic hurricane season approaches, and severe flooding overwhelms parts of central Michigan - ValuePenguin.com has just published a report showing cities where homeowners face the greatest financial risk and exposure to flooding.

ValuePenguin (PRNewsfoto/ValuePenguin.com)

According to ValuePenguin.com's analysis:

  • Across the 100 largest U.S. cities, there are only four active flood insurance policies for every 10 houses located in high-risk flood zones, or what FEMA designates as "100-year Floodplains". Most of these policies are concentrated in regions such as Florida and Louisiana, where homeowners are widely aware of the flood risks and are adequately prepared. 
  • In seven of those 100 major cities, there are fewer than two active flood insurance policies for every 100 houses located in a high-risk flood zone. These cities are Boise, Idaho, Riverside, California, Detroit, St. Louis, Cleveland, Minneapolis, and Youngstown, Ohio.
  • Homeowners in 100-year floodplains do not realize that their homes have a 26% chance of being flooded over the duration of a 30-year mortgage. FEMA maps out areas at high risk of flooding through the use of the 100-year floodplain — also referred to as special flood hazard areas (SFHAs), which have a 1% chance of flooding in any given year. While that may not sound like a high level of risk, it becomes substantial when multiplied over several decades.
  • FEMA's changing maps are behind why so many homeowners in high risk flood zones don't have flood insurance. Climate change and more accurate mapping techniques are placing more homes in the 100-year floodplain. There may be a lag between homes getting hit with the high-risk designation and getting notice that they now need flood insurance. Additionally, lenders and homeowners can appeal the flood zone designation of a property to avoid the expenses associated with flood insurance.
  • The average cost of flood insurance is $708/year but the rates vary greatly depending by property and location. Because standard homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage, it's important for homeowners to obtain effective flood insurance as a separate flood insurance policy as soon as possible to mitigate the financial fallout from floods.

ValuePenguin.com analysts did a deep dive into data from the National Flood Insurance Program, as well as New York University's Furman Center to identify the relationship between the number of active flood insurance policies and the number of owner-occupied housing units located in the 100-year floodplain. To view the full report, visit: https://www.valuepenguin.com/flood-insurance-coverage-cities

Top 50 Cities Where Homeowners Face the Biggest Risk From Floods

City

Total housing units

Housing units in 100-year floodplain

Active flood insurance policies

Homes With Flood Insurance

Boise, ID

252,922

8,718

1

0.00%

Riverside, CA

1,521,284

40,083

344

0.90%

Detroit, MI

1,891,400

57,380

495

0.90%

St. Louis, MO

1,234,148

26,863

307

1.10%

Cleveland, OH

956,075

14,738

196

1.30%

Minneapolis, MN

1,412,408

40,624

609

1.50%

Youngstown, OH

260,750

5,003

89

1.80%

Cincinnati, OH

917,451

23,599

477

2.00%

Pittsburgh, PA

1,107,264

22,111

447

2.00%

Grand Rapids, MI

407,242

8,883

181

2.00%

Akron, OH

314,191

6,790

140

2.10%

Chicago, IL

3,800,969

75,848

1,713

2.30%

San Francisco, CA

1,763,363

48,411

1,137

2.30%

Rochester, NY

471,973

9,231

235

2.50%

Ogden, UT

211,632

2,933

77

2.60%

Dayton, OH

368,556

9,503

275

2.90%

Orlando, FL

964,253

142,388

4,169

2.90%

Columbus, OH

832,255

27,324

917

3.40%

Bakersfield, CA

289,529

14,136

496

3.50%

Milwaukee, WI

671,344

17,172

609

3.50%

Albuquerque, NM

378,660

20,749

738

3.60%

Springfield, MA

254,960

5,735

204

3.60%

Syracuse, NY

289,354

5,907

228

3.90%

Hartford, CT

507,998

23,674

919

3.90%

Worcester, MA

377,803

8,842

344

3.90%

Boston, MA

1,900,927

134,685

5,323

4.00%

Providence, RI

693,380

44,686

1,881

4.20%

Allentown, PA

343,328

7,822

340

4.30%

Birmingham, AL

505,097

19,518

897

4.60%

Atlanta, GA

2,202,308

69,013

3,301

4.80%

Kansas City, MO

880,710

16,577

805

4.90%

Richmond, VA

514,700

11,092

605

5.50%

Madison, WI

273,123

7,901

447

5.70%

Toledo, OH

272,553

10,221

579

5.70%

Salt Lake City, UT

394,677

3,008

172

5.70%

Buffalo, NY

519,952

7,262

420

5.80%

Knoxville, TN

387,132

6,323

381

6.00%

Tulsa, OK

418,311

24,611

1,497

6.10%

Fresno, CA

321,955

4,734

291

6.10%

Memphis, TN

560,530

22,364

1,465

6.60%

Tucson, AZ

446,769

20,176

1,460

7.20%

Spokane, WA

233,817

1,717

126

7.30%

Harrisburg, PA

244,633

10,156

793

7.80%

Wichita, KS

269,297

10,813

884

8.20%

Oklahoma City, OK

550,954

21,956

1,808

8.20%

Modesto, CA

180,169

2,518

214

8.50%

Lancaster, PA

206,297

3,976

376

9.50%

Las Vegas, NV

857,131

9,751

930

9.50%

Chattanooga, TN

236,121

13,090

1,272

9.70%

Dallas, TX

2,606,732

93,600

9,335

10.00%

About ValuePenguin.com: ValuePenguin.com, part of LendingTree (NASDAQ: TREE), is a personal finance website that conducts in-depth research and provides objective analysis to help guide consumers to the best financial decisions. ValuePenguin focuses on value, assessing whether the return of a particular decision is worth the cost or risk of that option, and how this stacks up with the other possible choices they may have. For more information, please visit www.valuepenguin.com, like our Facebook page or follow us on Twitter @ValuePenguin.

Additional Information: https://www.valuepenguin.com/average-cost-flood-insurance

Media Contact:
Divya Sangam (Ms.)
646 693 8445
Divya@valuepenguin.com

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SOURCE ValuePenguin.com