National Flood Insurance Program . . .

National Flood Insurance Program

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 insurance agent.


The NFIP has evolved over time with the following federal legislation and Presidential Executive Orders:


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 industrial discharges.


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.