Why Is Flood Insurance Required in Arizona And What Are My Flood Insurance Options?

Today we were discussing why flood insurance is required in Arizona. I mean, we're in a desert does flooding actually occur? Well, deserts actually have roughly 40 to 100 floods per year, especially in the Arizona area. So today we want to discuss some of the flood risks. When do they occur? What are your options for flood insurance in Arizona? Particularly areas like Tucson, Gilbert, Surprise, Scottsdale, and Phoenix, Arizona.

First of all, let's talk about why flood insurance is required in Arizona and why Arizona might be one the most dangerous areas. Arizona is in the southwestern part of the U.S., which is mostly a desert area. So most people think that deserts don't have to worry about flooding. However, a lot of Arizona is in what's called an AO flood zone.

Now this is considered a 100 year flood zone, which is one of the higher risk flood zones. One of the major risks for Arizona is that these zones have a one to three foot decline, and what happens with these areas is when very little rainfall comes in, it's like water hitting cement. It comes downhill really has nowhere to go, so it starts to settle at the bottom of these areas like valleys, and canals like throughout Arizona.

So what happens is during monsoon season, half an inch or even an inch of rain may be received in a short amount of time and this water has nowhere to go. It creates this ponding at the bottom of these areas and it floods a lot of these low lying areas in Arizona. One of the reasons for this is in a lot of areas across the country, you have what's called your base flood elevation, and this is what FEMA feels flood waters could come up to in certain areas.

Why Is Flood Insurance Required in Arizona And What Are My Flood Insurance Options?

Well, in many areas across the U.S., it's 300 or 400 or even 500 feet. Well, in Arizona, it's one foot, so the margin for error is very low. Because of that it creates a lot more flooding exposure in areas like Arizona. So this is one of the reasons why flood insurance is required on a lot of properties in Arizona.

Now, flood premiums are typically very affordable in areas of Arizona, especially in Phoenix who recently had a five percent decrease because of a discount that was added by FEMA back in late 2018. As well as Scottsdale Arizona where flood insurance rates went down in 2016. right. So now that we've discussed why flood insurance is required in Arizona, let's discuss what are the different flood insurance options?

Well we're going to talk a little bit about those today. In Arizona, you've got the two traditional programs. Most people think there's just one option, which is the National Flood Insurance Program, which offers coverages up to 250,000 on residential buildings and 500,000 on commercial buildings, and then they often 100,000 in contents coverage.

Well, you've also got a private flood insurance market that has become very popular across the U.S. and has provided a lot better coverage in many situations for a lot of people. They can pick and choose the kind of risk they want, unlike the National Flood Insurance Program who has to take on everything, but by picking and choosing the risk that they do pick, they can really provide some really good coverages for sometimes double and triple what the National Flood Insurance Program can offer and many times the pricing is half.

Recently, we were able to insure a million dollar home in Surprise, Arizona for less than $600 a year through the private market. This policy provided building coverage up to $1,000,000 and personal content replacement coverage up to 400,000, which is we mentioned before that's a lot more coverage than the National Flood Insurance Program.

So these are some of the benefits, but these are the two main options for flood insurance when it comes to looking for flood insurance in Arizona, particularly areas like Gilbert, Surprise, Scottsdale, Tucson and Phoenix, Arizona. Now let's say that you're buying a house in Arizona and someone's already got a flood policy on there, it's through the National Flood Insurance Program. The you might have the opportunity to do what's called a flood insurance policy transfer or policy assumption where they transfer that property from themselves to you when you purchase a property.

Many times, this can grandfather in better rates because they've had the policy in place a while and if the flood zone's recently changed and they had that policy before then, then they have access to preferred rates. So now that we've discussed why flood insurance is required in Arizona and what the flood insurance options in Arizona are?  Where can you find a flood insurance expert? While any insurance agent can sell flood insurance you want to make sure you work with someone who deals with it everyday and has an educational back ground in flood mitigation like The Flood Insurance Guru. 

we want to make sure that you're aware of our YouTube channel. Make sure to subscribe to it where we do daily flood education videos. 

Also, our Facebook page. Make sure to like it, The Flood Insurance Guru.  So if you've got questions about flood insurance in Arizona or why is flood insurance being required on your property, even maybe getting the requirement removed, please reach out to us. Make sure to subscribe to our Youtube channel or like our Facebook page where we do daily flood insurance educational videos. You can also visit our website floodInsuranceguru.com or give us a call, 205-451-4294.

Chris Greene


Chris Greene

President of The Flood Insurance Guru
M.S. in Emergency Management with a focus in Flood Mitigation


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