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According to a recent American Housing Survey, the number of flood insurance policies in force through the National Flood Insurance Program has declined over the past 10 years with just over 1 in 10 homeowners insured. In cities that are more prone to flooding, the numbers are better with 1 in 3. The numbers also say that of all homeowners who had a flood insurance policy in 2017, 60% chose to buy a private policy on their own while 40 percent bought flood insurance because it was required by their mortgage lender.

The number one leader of cities for voluntary coverage is Houston, where 78% had purchased flood insurance without being told. Miami clocks in with 42% of flood insured homeowners who had purchased it voluntarily. Meanwhile, in New York City, that took a lick from Hurricane Sandy, 60% of homeowners had purchased voluntary flood insurance.

The share of voluntary flood insurance purchases is also higher for newly built homes compared with houses built 40 years ago. Flood insurance coverage increases from about 11 percent for homes built in the 1980s to 14 percent for homes built between 2010 and 2017.

For homes built in the 1980s, just 59 percent of homeowners with flood insurance voluntarily purchased it, compared with 64 percent for homes built since 2010. This trend suggests that owners of newly built homes, which are generally more expensive than existing homes, are more cognizant of the possibility of flooding and are looking to protect their investment.

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