🖤 Donations of all sizes power our public service journalism Give Now

Buying a house? Want to know if it floods? It might be hard to find out.

Dec 14, 2023
A growing number of states, including New York and New Jersey, are passing flood disclosure laws. But many still don’t have them.
Damaged and destroyed items in Flushing, Queens from Hurricane Ida-related flooding in 2021. Sellers in New York state are not required to disclose flood history, but that will change in March when a new law goes into effect.
Scott Heins/Getty Images

"Our whole life is in this house": Florida residents begin recovery after Hurricane Ian

Oct 14, 2022
The economic damage from Hurricane Ian could exceed $100 billion.
An aerial view of a neighborhood in North Port, Florida, in the wake of Hurricane Ian on Oct. 1.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

Puerto Ricans who thought hurricane insurance covered flooding may have a rude awakening

Sep 20, 2022
Did wind or water cause the damage to their homes? That's up to the insurance adjuster.
In the wake of Hurricane Fiona, an estimated 80% of Puerto Rico's population still lack electricity. Many people are stranded after more than 30 inches of rain fell in some areas.
AFP via Getty Images

Few homeowners in Kentucky's flooded areas have flood insurance

Aug 2, 2022
Nationwide, only 4 in 100 homes are covered, a FEMA official says. Without it, victims are pretty much on their own.
An aerial view of Jackson, Kentucky, on Thursday. There are only a few hundred flood insurance policies in that part of the state, a FEMA official said.
Leandro Lozada/AFP via Getty Images

Why doesn't homeowners insurance cover flood damage?

Sep 16, 2021
Short answer: Flooding cost insurance companies too much money, so the federal government stepped in.
Natural disasters have increased in scope and scale, increasing costs but not always homeowners premiums. Senior economics contributor Chris Farrell expects reform to come to the market.
Michael M. Santiago via Getty Images

Lots of homeowners are dropping flood insurance, study shows

Aug 4, 2021
It's bad news for federal officials who are trying to convince more homeowners that they need flood protection.
A Houston home sits in floodwaters from Hurricane Harvey in 2017. Many in Houston did not have flood insurance.
Spencer Platt via Getty Images

Texas may soon require landlords to inform renters about flood risk

May 28, 2021
The state requires disclosure of flood risk information to buyers, but not to people who rent their homes. For now.
In the Houston area, nearly half a million renters live in a floodplain. New protections could mean a significant shift for them.
Win McNamee/Getty Images

For public good, not for profit.

Nashville flooding renews federal push to tear down homes

Apr 29, 2021
Those in areas prone to flooding are weighing whether it's better to stay in a home, or take a government buyout.
Baylie McDaniel is a public school teacher in Nashville who is starting the long process of rebuilding after floodwaters inundated her home in late March. She says she'd prefer the city to focus on controlling Seven Mile Creek rather than buying homes to tear them down.
Blake Farmer/WPLN News

Insurance increasingly unaffordable as climate change brings more disasters

Aug 31, 2020
In California, homeowners in high wildfire-risk areas are finding insurance is harder to find, costs more and is worth less.
The LNU Lightning Complex Fire burns through Napa on Aug. 18, 2020.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

After multiple natural disasters, Florida residents have fewer options for insurance coverage

Jan 30, 2019
Larger insurance providers have been cutting back on Floridians' property insurance coverage.
Donnie Young reacts after seeing one of his houses in Port St. Joe beach, Florida, on October 13, 2018, three days after Hurricane Michael hit the area.
ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images