Flood Insurance for Renters

Flood insurance for renters may be a necessity if you live in an area prone to flooding. Most homeowners and renters insurance policies do not cover flood, and you may want to purchase an additional flood insurance policy for renters to protect your personal belongings. Refer to our guide below to compare flood insurance rates for renters from local providers.

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Natasha McLachlan is a writer who currently lives in Southern California. She is an alumna of California College of the Arts, where she obtained her B.A. in Writing and Literature. Her current work revolves around insurance guides and informational articles. She truly enjoys helping others learn more about everyday, practical matters through her work.

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Laura Walker graduated college with a BS in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science. She married her husband and began working in the family insurance business in 2005. She became a licensed agent and wrote P&C business focusing on personal lines insurance for 10 years. Laura serviced existing business and wrote new business. She now uses her insurance background to help educate...

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Reviewed by Laura Walker
Former Licensed Agent

UPDATED: Nov 16, 2020

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Renters insurance is “contents-only” insurance, which means that it covers the same perils covered by a standard homeowners policy, except that it does not pay for repairs or replacement of any permanent structures.

Homeowners policies, renters insurance included, do not provide flood coverage by default. In most circumstances, you will only be able to get flood insurance through national programs such as the National Flood Insurance Program.

Water Damage vs. Flooding

Do not confuse water damage with flood insurance. Water damage is caused by an event or peril, such as a broken pipe or the water used to put out a fire. Flooding occurs when rising water overflows is boundaries, such as a dam giving way, excessive tidal surges, or heavy rains causing a river to rise. The difference is crucial, because water damage is covered by most standard home insurance policies, but flooding is always excluded.

Why Flood Insurance is Important

Flooding can happen in any location, and potential flood situations may happen unexpectedly. Without flood insurance, you would have to pay for the repair or replacement of your own property, up to and including a total loss of everything. Because the average person has thousands of dollars of personal property, paying for flood insurance, even for many years, will cost much less than the out of pocket expenses without insurance.

Where to Purchase Flood Insurance

Flood insurance is not available from most traditional insurance companies. Instead, you may have the option of purchasing from a high risk insurer, or even limited to the National Flood Insurance Program, NFIP, as your only choice. The best place to start looking for flood insurance is with your state’s Department of Insurance, where you can get information about flood potential for your location, insurance companies licensed to sell flood insurance in your state, and more.

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