Insurance for Fire, Hazard, and Flood
The data on fire, hazard, and flood insurance were obtained from Housing Question 18 in the 2011 American Community Survey. The question was asked of owner-occupied units. The statistics for this question refer to the annual premium for fire, hazard, and flood insurance on the property (land and buildings), that is, policies that protect the property and its contents against loss due to damage by fire, lightning, winds, hail, flood, explosion, and so on.
Liability policies are included only if they are paid with the fire, hazard, and flood insurance premiums and the amounts for fire, hazard, and flood cannot be separated. Premiums are reported even if they have not been paid or are paid by someone outside the household. When premiums are paid on other than a yearly basis, the premiums are converted to a yearly basis.
The payment for fire, hazard, and flood insurance is added to payments for real estate taxes, utilities, fuels, and mortgages (both first, second, home equity loans, and other junior mortgages) to derive "Selected Monthly Owner Costs" and "Selected Monthly Owner Costs as a Percentage of Household Income." These data provide information on the cost of home ownership and offer an excellent measure of housing affordability and excessive shelter costs.
A separate question (19d in the 2011 American Community Survey) determines whether insurance premiums are included in the mortgage payment to the lender(s). This makes it possible to avoid counting these premiums twice in the computations.
Median Fire, Hazard, and Flood Insurance
Median fire, hazard, and flood insurance divides the fire, hazard, and flood insurance distribution into two equal parts: one-half of the cases falling below the median fire, hazard, and flood insurance and one-half above the median. Median fire, hazard, and flood insurance is computed on the basis of a standard distribution (see the "Standard Distributions" section under "Appendix A.") Median fire, hazard, and flood insurance is rounded to the nearest whole dollar. (For more information on medians, see "Derived Measures.")
The American Community Survey questions have been the same since 1996.
Data on fire, hazard, and flood insurance in the American Community Survey can be compared to previous ACS and Census 2000 fire, hazard, and flood insurance data.