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Flood Insurance

The City of Sacramento strongly encourages all property owners within Sacramento to carry a flood insurance policy of to help protect themselves and their property.

Flood Insurance - What you need to know

Protect yourself now! You need flood insurance. While less than 25% of the City of Sacramento is within the Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA), any property, in or out of the SFHA is at risk of flooding because the City is protected by levees.

Sacramento's vast floodplain and flooding tendencies are due to our neighboring Sacramento and American Rivers, as well as our local creeks and streams and drainage systems, which rely on pumps to drain properly. These flooding risks mean that it is important that you and your family protect yourself and your property against flooding.

There are many reasons why Sacramento area property owners should carry and maintain flood insurance.

  • Levees Do Not Guarantee Your Safety. Sacramento is protected by levees that can still be overtopped or collapse in violent winter storms. 
  • Homeowners Insurance Does Not Cover Damage Caused by a Flood. If your property should flood, repairs may cost more than 50% of the value of your building or home. 
  • Low-Cost Flood Insurance Is Now Available to Most Property Owners Who Have Been Removed from the Flood Insurance Requirement. 
  • Nature Is Unpredictable. Even if you live outside of the SFHA, you are still at risk of flooding due to unpredictable forces of nature? be prepared, carry a flood insurance policy!
  • 30-Day Waiting Period. Typically, there's a 30-day waiting period from date of purchase before your flood insurance policy becomes effective.
  • Renters Beware. A renter’s contents may not be covered by the properties flood insurance. Renters should protect their contents with flood insurance.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is in the process of implementing Congressionally mandated reforms required by the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (HFIAA) that repeal and modify the Biggert Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (Biggert-Waters). Flood insurance rates and other charges will be revised for new or existing policies beginning on April 1, 2015. In addition to insurance rates, other changes resulting from Biggert-Waters and HFIAA will be implemented that will affect the total amount a policyholder pays for a flood insurance policy. Highlights of some of those changes can be found at on FEMA's website. 

What Type of Flood Insurance should I have?

There are two types of flood insurance available to the residents of Sacramento depending upon what area you live. Regular or Standard Flood insurance is an option offered to all residents and the only insurance option offered to residents living within the SFHA. Preferred Risk Flood Insurance (PRP) is an option offered to most residents of Sacramento who live outside the SFHA. To see a map of the SFHA and the areas eligible for PRP, please visit the flood map page.

Special Flood Hazard Area (SFHA)

The SFHA, as designated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) represents the 100-year regulatory floodplain. This means that in any given year, properties in this area have a one-in-100 chance of becoming flooded. Property owners in the SFHA are only allowed to carry regular or Standard flood insurance which is available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). To get a Standard or Regular flood insurance policy, please contact your local insurance provider. For information about the NFIP or flood insurance providers, please call 800-427-4661 or visit www.floodsmart.gov.

Preferred Risk Flood Insurance (PRPs)

Despite the lifting of the regular or Standard flood insurance requirement for this area, the potential for a flood disaster in this area remains an unpredictable threat to public safety. FEMA warns that over the life of a 30-year mortgage, property owners in areas like Sacramento can expect an approximately 26% chance of flooding.

Most property owners whose homes were removed from the SFHA in early 2005 can now carry flood insurance at a significantly reduced cost by switching to a Preferred Risk flood insurance policy (PRP).

PRPs cost about half the price of regular, or Standard, flood insurance and are sold by most insurance agents. They also cover contents of your home in the case of flooding damage.

To get a PRP, follow these simple steps:

  1. Contact Your Insurance Agent. Tell your agent that you would like to apply for a low-cost, Preferred Risk flood insurance policy. Your agent will NOT automatically switch you to a PRP. You must make this call to obtain this type of policy. 

  2. Offer to Give Your Agent the Letter of Map Revision that Removed Your Property from the Federal Flood Insurance Requirement. Agents may use this document to check your eligibility for a PRP. To get a copy of this letter, please visit the Department of Utilities, 1395 35th Avenue or call the Floodplain Information Line at 916-808-5061. Be prepared to leave your name, address, phone number and Tax Assessor's Parcel Number. Calls will be returned within 2 business days. 

  3. With Your Agent's Help, Fill Out a Preferred Risk Policy Application and Apply for a Flood Insurance Premium Refund. Most property owners who purchase a PRP will receive a refund of their current flood insurance premium. A portion of this refund can be used to buy the PRP. 
  4. Remember to make copies of all documents you submit to your agent.
Find a local flood insurance agent at FloodSmart.