Know Your Flood Risk: Realtors

Manhattan's Flood Risk
Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs), also known as flood hazard maps, are important tools in the effort to protect lives and properties in Manhattan. The FIRMs are also used to determine if flood insurance is required for federally backed mortgages and what the flood insurance premium will be.

FIRMs are graphical maps related to the Flood Insurance Study that show where the Floodway, 1% Annual Chance Flood, 0.2% Annual Chance Flood and the City's Community Base Flood will occur. Mapped floodplains are based on the best available data at the time of the study — factors related to flooding can change over time.

The Basics of Flood Insurance

  • Most homeowners insurance policies do not provide coverage for damages due to flooding.
  • Flood insurance is available through the National Flood Insurance Program, but can only be purchased through a licensed insurance agent. Rates are set by the NFIP and do not differ from company to company or agent to agent.
  • Manhattan is part of the Community Rating System, which recognizes the community's efforts to implement effective floodplain management practices. As a result, Manhattan homeowners automatically qualify for a 10-percent discount. The average property owner saves approximately $73 per flood insurance policy per year.
  • There is typically a 30-day waiting period for flood insurance policies to take effect. Don't wait until a flood occurs to try to get flood insurance.
  • The average flood insurance premium is approximately $735 per year; however, lower cost policies are available for homes in moderate and low risk areas. Coverage for a homeowner's building and contents can be purchased for as little as $129 a year.
  • Recently, the federal government enacted changes to the National Flood Insurance Program through the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act that was signed into law on March 21, 2014. You should contact your flood insurance provider to determine how these changes will affect you.

Be Prepared

Flood waters do not know where the lines on a flood map are. Localized flooding can occur anywhere in the City under certain conditions. The City encourages property owners and tenants to review their flood risks and make an informed decision on whether flood insurance is required or should be purchased to protect their property, home or business.

Additional Resources