Flood Insurance

Since standard homeowners insurance doesn't cover flooding, it's important to have protection from the floods associated with hurricanes, tropical storms, heavy rains and other conditions that impact Portsmouth.

National Flood Insurance Program

Find out more about the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and how it can help you protect yourself. 


Flood insurance is administered through local casualty insurance agents and brokers. Homeowners and business owners should check with their local insurance company of choice. Building owners can insure both the structure and contents. Renters can insure the contents of their dwelling. Mobile homeowners can be insured if located on a permanent foundation and anchored to resist movement during a flood. You may be able to have your premium reduced if you obtain an Elevation Certificate from a licensed private surveyor.


Flood insurance is required by the federal regulations for structures either partially or completely in Flood Zone AE or VE and with a mortgage backed by federal programs. Owning flood insurance is necessary to maintain eligibility for most federal or federally related financial reconstruction or acquisition assistance.

Much of Portsmouth is susceptible to some level of flooding, and all property owners and renters are encouraged to contact an insurance agent to inquire about purchasing flood insurance. Even if your home is not in a defined Hazard Area, you still may want a policy since each year between 25% to 30% of flood insurance claims occur in non-hazard areas.

National Flood Insurance Program Flood Insurance Advocate

The FEMA Office of the Flood Insurance Advocate (OFIA) advocates for the fair treatment of policyholders and property owners by providing education and guidance on all aspects of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). You can ask the Advocate questions directly using this form

Additional Information

FEMA has detailed information about flood insurance for property owners, claims adjusters, insurance professionals, lenders, state and local officials, and surveyors on the National Flood Insurance Program's website.

For more information, you can also contact your insurance agent or company, or call the National Flood Insurance Program's toll-free number at 1 888-379-9531 (TDD# 800-427-5593). Or email.

Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act

On March 21, 2014, President Obama signed into law H.R. 3370, the Homeowner Flood Insurance Affordability Act of 2014 (HFIAA). The law repeals and modifies certain provisions of the Biggert-Waters Flood Insurance Reform Act of 2012 (BWA) and makes other changes to the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). Additional information is available here.

Preferred Risk Policy 

The National Flood Insurance Program's (NFIP) Preferred Risk Policy (PRP) offers lower-cost protection for homes and apartments in areas of low to moderate flood risk. These areas outside of known floodplains are shown as B, C, or X, zones on a Flood Insurance Rate Map. Additional information is available here.

Homeowner's Guide to Elevation Certificates

An Elevation Certificate is an important tool that documents your building's elevation. If you live in a high-risk flood zone, you should provide an Elevation Certificate to your insurance agent to obtain flood insurance and ensure that your premium accurately reflects your risk. Obtaining an Elevation Certificate also can help you make decisions about rebuilding and mitigation after a disaster. Click here for more information about Elevation Certificates and how obtaining one might reduce your Flood Insurance Premium.