All Flood Insurance is underwritten by the US Federal Government through the National Flood Insurance Program but offered by individual companies. The reason that individual companies do not offer it is because flooding is impossible to analyze and predict. What this means is that rates vary little if any between companies.
Flood insurance may be required as a condition for your mortgage, but can be purchased by anyone whether you live in a flood zone or not.
It is important to know the date of construction of your home and in virtually all cases you are now required to have an Elevation Certificate done by a licensed surveyor that measures the elevation of your home in respect to the flood zone. This can cost upwards of $1,000 depending on the situation- so if you are buying a home in a flood zone you should attempt to get a copy of the elevation certificate from the current owner if one has been completed.
The flood rating maps were updated in 2012 and there are changes made to the program at least 1-2x per year. And occasionally Congress will fail to renew funding leaving gaps in the program and inability to write new policies. These changes mean that buying flood insurance is more complicated than ever.
If you have been notified that the home you are buying is in a flood zone and the lender requires flood insurance- call us right away at 215-340-1888.