Is flood insurance required in Texas?

Flood insurance is not required in Texas by state law, but lenders can require you to carry flood insurance, particularly if you’re located in a high-risk area. 

Indeed, a national requirement is that anyone with a federally-backed mortgage for a home in a designated high-risk area has to have flood insurance, according to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

But even if you’re not required to get flood insurance, it’s still often prudent to do so.

“Many homeowners feel that if they are not in an area prone to flooding, or didn’t flood during Harvey, or never flooded before, they shouldn’t need flood insurance.  The fact is that the risk is changing all the time,” says Tara LaGoy, agency owner, Tara LaGoy Insurance Agency based in Spring, Texas.

“So, flood insurance is worth considering for every homeowner,” she says.

How much is flood insurance in Texas?

The cost of flood insurance in Texas depends on where you buy the insurance and your location, as well as factors like deductibles and coverage limits. 

The most common way to get flood insurance in Texas is through the NFIP, says LaGoy.

On average, the cost of flood insurance in Texas for an NFIP policy is $698 per year, which is less than the nationwide average annual flood insurance cost of $734.

“Costs have risen over time and so have premiums.  Just as with homeowners insurance, costs can be mitigated by increasing deductibles,” notes LaGoy. 

“Another option is to consider private flood insurance, which will often offer broader coverage, a single deductible, optional coverage such as extra living expenses after a loss, replacement cost on contents, and sometimes lower premiums,” she adds.

What does flood insurance cover in Texas?

Flood insurance coverage in Texas depends on the policy. An NFIP policy covers up to:

  • $250,000 for your home
  • $100,000 for personal property
  • $30,000 for compliance with state and local laws regarding repairs and construction due to flood damage

“This policy form provides basic coverage with replacement cost coverage on the home, depreciated coverage on contents, and a deductible for the dwelling with a separate deductible for the contents,” explains LaGoy.

Private flood insurance, however, can include broader coverage, such as for living expenses if you’re displaced due to flooding, along with higher coverage limits.

In terms of the types of events that flood insurance covers, these policies apply to flooding from exterior events, such as storms that cause runoff from bodies of water or mudflows. In contrast, interior flooding due to a plumbing issue like a burst pipe falls under regular homeowners insurance. And when a storm causes interior flooding due to damage to the home, such as a roof leak, that would also fall under regular homeowners insurance, not flood insurance.

What companies offer flood insurance in Texas?

In Texas, a common way homeowners get flood insurance is through the NFIP. Some insurance companies participate in the NFIP’s Write-Your-Own (WYO) flood insurance program, meaning that these companies sell NFIP policies in a way that’s packaged as their own offering.

In all, 24 insurers in Texas offer flood insurance through the WYO program. Some of these top flood insurance providers include:

  • Allied Trust
  • Allstate
  • The Hartford
  • Philadelphia Insurance Companies
  • PURE Insurance
  • Wright Flood
  • USAA

In addition to these NFIP options, some companies also offer private flood insurance on their own. Some homeowners buy both to supplement NFIP coverage. Or, if you’re looking for the cheapest flood insurance in Texas, you might be able to find a private flood insurance provider that beats NFIP pricing, depending on your situation.

Some of the top private flood insurance companies include:

  • Chubb
  • Neptune Flood
  • Palomar

And keep in mind that some Write-Your-Own program insurers also sell private flood insurance policies, giving you more options to choose from. 

For example, Wright Flood sells NFIP policies as well as private flood insurance policies in Texas, with the latter having higher dwelling coverage limits, up to $1 million. The cheapest flood insurance in Texas varies based on your home and the coverage you choose.

Different insurers offer different advantages in terms of customer service, premiums, coverage limits, etc. So, if you want the best flood insurance in Texas, it’s helpful to get quotes from different providers — both for NFIP and private flood insurance policies — to see what works well for your budget and risk tolerance.