The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is the primary
source for flood insurance in the United States. Flood insurance can be purchased from a
licensed private insurance company or independent property and casualty
The NFIP has
evolved over time with the following federal legislation and Presidential
The Flood Control Act of 1917
gave the Corps of Engineer authority to (1) build and maintain dams (2) engage
in channel modifications (3) construct levees and floodwalls.
The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) Act of 1933 established the TVA and its scope of managing resource
development, dam construction, and flood control projects.
House Document 465 of 1966
proposed major policy recommendations for flood loss reduction.
The Southeast Hurricane Disaster
Relief Act of 1965 directs the Department of Housing and Urban Development
to examine financial assistance options for flood victims. Housing and Urban
Development concluded that a National Flood Insurance Program was feasible.
The National Flood Insurance Act
of 1968 was passed by congress to correct the shortcoming of traditional
flood protection and flood relief programs. The National Flood Insurance
Program (NFIP) makes low-cost subsidized flood insurance available to property
owners in communities that adopt minimum flood hazard regulations for
development in floodplain areas in a manner consistent with both nature’s need
to convey floodwaters and a community’s land use needs. In Ohio, over 700
communities participate in the NFIP. The NFIP allows communities to adopt
stricter floodplain ordinances if they wish.
The Coastal Zone Management Act
of 1972 authorizes coastal floodplain management plans.
The Water Pollution Control Act
of 1972 authorizes permit procedures for dredging and placing fill
materials in bodies of water. It also requires permits for municipal and
The Flood Disaster Protection
Act of 1973 includes incentives to participate in the NFIP and requires
that localities enforce their local floodplain ordinance or they will be
removed from the NFIP.
The Water Resources Development
Act of 1974 encourages nonstructural approaches to floodplain management.
Executive Order 11988
mandates that Federal agencies avoid floodplains when possible and comply with
NFIP minimum standards.
Executive Order 11990
requires that Federal agencies avoid wetlands.
The National Flood Insurance
Reform Act of 1994 prohibits federal disaster assistance in cases were
flood insurance has not been maintained. Also provides 75/25 cost share grants
to states and communities. It provides up to $1.5 million for state/community
mitigation planning. It also establishes flood insurance rates based on (in
part) the risk the structure has of being damaged by flooding.
"Substantial Damage" is defined as when the cost of compliance
exceeds 50% of the market value of the structure in question. It also
establishes a 30-day waiting period before NFIP policies become effective.