Flood Insurance Policies

Flood losses are not covered under normal homeowners’ insurance policies.

If your home or business is located in a high-risk flood area (known as a Special Flood Hazard Area or SFHA) and you have a loan through a federally regulated or insured lender, you will be required to carry flood insurance. If you do not have a loan, you are strongly encouraged to carry coverage.  These areas have at least a 26 percent chance of flooding over a 30-year period, and most homeowners insurance policies do not provide coverage. If you live outside a high-risk area, the risk of flooding is still there; it is just reduced, not removed. Nearly 30 percent of all flood claims in Arizona occur in these areas and the average flood claim in Yavapai County since 1978 has been over $96,000.

Flood insurance is available to all communities who participate in the federally sponsored National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). FEMA manages the NFIP, which makes federally-backed flood insurance available in communities that agree to adopt and enforce floodplain management ordinances to reduce future flood damage. Yavapai County is a participating community in the NFIP.  It also a participates in FEMA's voluntary Community Rating System (CRS).  The CRS program recognizes communities for exceeding the minimum NFIP guidelines. Yavapai County is currently at a CRS Class 7 designation.  As a result, policyholders in the county receive a 15% reduction on flood insurance premiums for all homes and businesses.

If your area is receiving new flood maps (known as Flood Insurance Rate Maps, or FIRMs), your insurance requirements and rates may be affected. Learn more about potential impacts and options.(PDF, 92KB)

In 2021, FEMA introduced a new rating methodology, known as Risk Rating 2.0.  All NFIP policies are now rated using the new rating methodology. Per FEMA, this new methodology better reflects a property’s flood risk by incorporating more flood risk variables such as flood frequency, multiple flood types—river overflow, storm surge, coastal erosion, and heavy rainfall—and distance to a water source.  It includes property characteristics such as elevation and the cost to rebuild. Note that Risk Rating 2.0 no longer uses flood zones or Base Flood Elevations (BFEs) as rating variables; however, Yavapai County still must use them to manage the floodplain, and lenders still use the flood zone to determine if flood insurance is required.

Flood insurance is available:

  • The Yavapai County Flood Control District assists the residents and businesses in determining whether a property is in a high, moderate or low flood hazard area.  This is available in the unincorporated area of Yavapai County and the incorporated areas that are listed on the Flood Protection Information page. Flood insurance is available for communities listed on the Flood Protection Information page.
  • Flood insurance coverage is available for residential and non-residential buildings, as well as for contents in the buildings. Homeowners can get coverage up to $250,000 on their building and $100,000 for contents.
  • There typically is a 30-day waiting period before flood insurance goes into effect.
  • Flood insurance is sold by licensed insurance agents that may write directly with the NFIP or represent one of nearly 50 insurance companies that have an agreement to write the program on the NFIP’s behalf. All companies use the same rates and underwriting guidelines.

For more information on flood insurance, talk with your insurance agent or visit: www.FloodSmart.gov.

FLOOD INSURANCE: WHAT IS COVERED