In 1968, Congress created the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) in response to the rising cost of taxpayer funded disaster relief for flood victims and the increasing amount of damage caused by floods. The Mitigation Division a component of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) manages the NFIP, and oversees the floodplain management and mapping components of the Program.
Nearly 20,000 communities across the United States and its territories 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 available to homeowners, renters, and business owners in these communities.
Flood damage is reduced by nearly $1 billion a year through partnerships with communities, the insurance industry, and the lending industry. Further, buildings constructed in compliance with NFIP building standards suffer approximately 80 percent less damage annually than those not built in compliance.
The NFIP is self-supporting for the average historical loss year, which means that operating expenses and flood insurance claims are not paid for by the taxpayer, but through premiums collected for flood insurance policies. The Program has borrowing authority from the U.S. Treasury for times when losses are heavy; however, these loans are paid back with interest. More information on the NFIP is available from FEMA.
The City of Indianapolis joined the NFIP on May 15, 1984 and continues to be an active participant in the program.