Millennials More Likely to Buy Flood Insurance Than Baby Boomers

Millennials — those born between 1981 and 1996— are nearly three times more likely to have purchased flood insurance than their older Baby Boomer counterparts born between 1944 and 1964, a new survey finds.

Overall, less than half of Americans who agree that having flood insurance is important have purchased flood insurance, according to a national survey from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC).

The survey of 1,000 American adults conducted in May reveals that Millennials are not only nearly three times more likely to have purchased flood insurance than their Baby Boomers but they are also more likely than Gen Xers born between 1965 and 1980 to purchase flood insurance (25% vs. 16%).

Overall, Millennials are more likely to agree/strongly agree that purchasing a flood policy is a good idea (57% vs. 41% for Gen X vs. 24% for Baby Boomers).

Recent floods in the Midwest and South where recovery efforts will continue for years bring home the disconnect between intention and action on flood coverage. According to the survey, 41% of respondents agree or strongly agree that flood insurance is a “good idea” but only 17% say they have purchased flood insurance, and even that response may be based on a misunderstanding. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) estimates that only about 3% of homeowners have flood insurance.

“This disparity perhaps reflects the common, though incorrect, assumption that homeowners insurance covers flooding,” said Eric Cioppa, NAIC president and Superintendent of the Maine Bureau of Insurance.

Flood insurance policies are available through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and on the private market.

As of March 2018, NFIP premiums written reached $3.55 billion.

According to an Insurance Journal report on “Top Private Flood Insurers, 2017 Market Study,” during 2017, the private flood market expanded considerably with 50 new companies reporting to the NAIC as writing private flood coverage. In total, insurers reported direct private flood insurance premiums written of $630 million, an increase of $217 million over 2016.

Combined, surplus lines premium and direct private flood insurance premiums written increased $250 million to $1.028 billion, gaining 22 percent of the overall market.

Other findings of the Insurance Journal report:

The NAIC survey was conducted online among 1,004 adults comprising 502 men and 502 women 18 years of age and older. This survey was live May 20-22, 2019.