How to Shop for Flood Insurance

Whether or not you live in a high-risk area for flooding, you might consider getting the extra coverage.

If you live in a flood zone, particularly one that’s high-risk, your mortgage company may require you to get flood insurance. But even if you aren’t considered to be in a high-risk area, the coverage may be worthwhile. More than 20% of flood claims in the U.S. come from properties outside of high-risk flood zones. Most homeowners can get coverage through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), unless they live in one of the few communities that don’t participate in the federal program.

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Kimberly Lankford
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

As the "Ask Kim" columnist for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Lankford receives hundreds of personal finance questions from readers every month. She is the author of Rescue Your Financial Life (McGraw-Hill, 2003), The Insurance Maze: How You Can Save Money on Insurance -- and Still Get the Coverage You Need (Kaplan, 2006), Kiplinger's Ask Kim for Money Smart Solutions (Kaplan, 2007) and The Kiplinger/BBB Personal Finance Guide for Military Families. She is frequently featured as a financial expert on television and radio, including NBC's Today Show, CNN, CNBC and National Public Radio.