Determine your home's risk of flooding.
You may live in a high risk flood area or a moderate to low risk flood area. If you live in a high-risk area, you are required to have flood insurance. If you live in a lower risk area, you do not have to buy flood insurance, but it is recommended.  Visit the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIM) website and type in your address to see your risk profile. 
Calculate the amount of coverage you will need.
- Your risk profile will tell you the level of risk, the average flood insurance claim in your state, the average insurance premium, and whether you are required to purchase flood insurance.
- Flood maps are available online and at local Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offices. 
You will want to estimate the value of your property and all personal belongings. The value of your property includes your home, electrical and plumbing systems, appliances, permanently installed carpeting, central air conditioning and heaters, window blinds. Personal belongings include clothing, furniture, electronics, portable air conditioners, portable microwave ovens, washers, dryers, and items such as original artwork and furs. 
See if you are a member of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).
- Flood insurance will not cover cars, other motorized vehicles, belongings and property on your home's exterior, cash, living expenses, decks, patios, fences, bonds or precious metals that may be lost in a flood.
- Basement coverage is limited. Be sure to ask your agent about the specific details of the policy before you purchase it.
The NFIP is managed by the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA). If your community is a member of the NFIP, you can purchase flood insurance through this program. If your community is not part of the NFIP, you may have to purchase flood insurance through the private market.
- Visit the FEMA website to determine if your community is part of the NFIP. 
- Over 22,000 communities have joined the NFIP. If you are in a high risk community, you are probably already a member. FEMA sends a notice to all of these communities and sanctions the community if they do not join within one year.
- If your community is not part of it, you can contact your respective State Coordinating Agency for the NFIP or your FEMA Regional Office to get your community to join.  Visit the FEMA website to find a list of the offices and agencies.