History
Learn more about the history of flooding and floodplain management in Wisconsin
Mapping
Discover how floodplains are mapped in Wisconsin
Ordinances
Find out what regulations apply in floodplains and how to adopt an ordinance
Insurance
Learn more about the National Flood Insurance Program
Contact Information
Gary Heinrichs
Floodplain Planning Program Manager
Dam Safety and Floodplain
608-266-3093

Flood insurance

National Flood Insurance Program

In 1968, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in response to the rising cost of tax-payer funded disaster relief for flood victims and the increasing amount of damage caused by floods. The Federal Insurance and Mitigation Administration (FIMA), a component of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), manages the NFIP and oversees the floodplain management and mapping components of the program.

More than 500 communities in Wisconsin participate in the NFIP by adopting and enforcing floodplain management ordinances to reduce future flood damage. In exchange, the NFIP makes federally backed flood insurance for structures and/or contents available to homeowners, renters and business owners in these communities.

Flood insurance is available to anyone who lives in or owns a structure in a community that participates in the NFIP. Flood insurance can be purchased through a local insurance agent. Detailed information on the National Flood Insurance Program [exit DNR] is avaliable.

To determine if your community participates in the NFIP either contact your local zoning administrator or go to “Flood Facts” [exit DNR] and check the Community Status Book.

Community Rating System

The Community Rating System (CRS) [exit DNR] is a FEMA [exit DNR] program focused on reducing the cost of flood insurance through community activities. Flood insurance premium rates are discounted to reflect the reduced flood risk resulting from the community actions meeting the three goals of the CRS:

  • reduce flood losses;
  • facilitate accurate insurance rating; and
  • promote the awareness of flood insurance.

Communities participating in CRS can reduce homeowners’ annual flood insurance premiums through a variety of activities such as:

  • enforcing higher floodplain regulations,
  • increasing the amount of open space in areas at risk;
  • placing flood related publications in the local library; and
  • developing and implementing a public information and outreach program

More information on floodplain management.

Last Revised: Tuesday December 16 2014