Frequently Asked Questions

Flood Insurance FAQ

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Does my home qualify for ICC (Increased Cost of Compliance)?

Substantially damaged homes that were covered by a flood insurance policy at the time of Sandy could qualify to have additional federal funds applied to the Repair or Rebuild of the home. Up to $30,000 could be received to elevate the home or implement other resiliency improvements to protect the home from damage in future severe weather events. If a Repair or Rebuild applicant is eligible to make an ICC Category D claim, any disaster recovery funds received must be applied toward the cost of elevation. Applicants must assign any potential Coverage D Claim to the City at Grant Agreement and the City will make the ICC claim on behalf of the applicant and apply the funds towards the elevation. ICC Coverage D funds already received by the applicant, but not yet spent on eligible activities, are considered to be a duplication of benefits pursuant to the federal Stafford Act and will be included in the calculation of the Build It Back CDBG transfer amount.

What are the flood insurance requirements if I participate in the Build It Back Program?

There are two sets of flood insurance requirements that apply to you: the Federal Requirement and the Build It Back Requirement.

Federal Requirement: If you receive Federal assistance for your flood damaged home from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), Small Business Administration (SBA) or the City's Community District Block Grant-funded Build It Back Program, you are required by Federal law to cover the building for flood insurance for as long as you own it. If you sell the building, you are required to inform the new owner that they must purchase and maintain flood insurance. Failure to carry flood insurance on a property that previously received Federal funds to recover from flood damage could result in the denial of future Federal disaster assistance. The City does not have control over this requirement and it applies to all persons in a SFHA who have already received FEMA or SBA assistance for flood damage to their homes.

Build it Back Requirement: If you participate in the Rebuild Program and your home is reconstructed, you will be required to provide evidence that you are carrying flood insurance on your new home when construction is completed.

What is a Special Flood Hazard Area?

Also known as the 100-year floodplain, this is an area that has a 1% or greater risk of flooding in any given year. These high risk areas are indicated on Flood Insurance Rate Maps (FIRMs) produced by FEMA. In these Special Flood Hazard Areas, there is a 26% chance of flooding over the life of a 30-year mortgage.

If I only choose reimbursement, am I still required to carry flood insurance?

Yes, if you receive any assistance from Build It Back other than acquisition or buyout and your home is located in a SFHA, you are required to buy flood insurance for your property.

How do I know if my home is in a SFHA?

FEMA determines whether your home is located in a SFHA based upon your home's location relative to FEMA's Flood Insurance Rate Maps. You can look up your address at,, or FEMA's Flood Map Service Center. The Build It Back Program's Feasibility Report also lists your flood zone and will tell you if you are in the current or future SFHA. You may request a copy of your Feasibility Report from the Program after your damage assessment has been completed.

How much flood insurance do I have to carry for the Program?

The Build It Back Program requires you to carry flood insurance in an amount equal to the grant provided by the Build It Back Program or the maximum amount of flood insurance which is available from the NFIP, whichever is less. If you receive multiple grants for the Build It Back Program, you must carry flood insurance in the total amount of all assistance you receive or the maximum amount of flood insurance which is available from the NFIP, whichever is less. FEMA, the SBA and other Federal programs may require different amounts of flood coverage.

Who do I contact if I want to find out how much flood insurance will cost or if I want to purchase a flood insurance policy?

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) has an arrangement with private insurance companies to sell and service flood insurance policies. You can find more information at or by contacting your insurance agent or company to find out more about Federal flood insurance. The Build It Back Program encourages you to find out what your flood insurance rates will be prior to signing the Program's grant or loan agreement. The Build It Back Program cannot provide you a cost of flood insurance for your home. The Mayor’s Office of Recovery and Resiliency advises calling at least 3 agents listed on or calling (888) 435-6637 for quotes. The Build It Back Program cannot provide estimates for flood insurance but can provide counseling. If you are interested in learning more, please visit Build It Back’s Counseling page.

What determines a flood insurance premium?

  • Flood Zone: The higher risk your flood zone, the higher the flood insurance base premium will be.
  • Building Type: Single-family homes, two- to four-family homes, apartment buildings, and other non-residential buildings may have different base rates.
  • Elevation of Lowest Floor: The higher the lowest inhabited floor (any floor not used solely for storage, access, or  parking) is elevated relative to the Base Flood Elevation (BFE), the lower the premium may be.
  • Amount of Insurance: The more insurance coverage you buy, the higher your premium.
  • Deductible: A higher deductible may lower your insurance premium.