Flood Insurance

What is a flood?

Flooding is defined as a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or of two or more properties from the following:

  • Overflow of inland or tidal waters
  • Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source
  • Mudflows
  • Collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or other body of water, as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels that result in a flood

What does a Flood Policy cover?

Residential Building Coverage

Building coverage insures a house or dwelling, attached and detached garages, as well as certain permanently installed fixtures such as built-in dishwashers, permanent shelving and cabinetry, furnaces and radiators, hot-water heaters, plumbing fixtures, stoves, ovens and refrigerators.

Residential Contents Coverage

Contents coverage insures most of your personal property and belongings, including:

  • Clothing
  • Furniture, housewares, bedding
  • Decorative items, lamps and lighting fixtures
  • Books, home electronics
  • Area rugs and draperies
  • Clothes washers and dryers
  • Air conditioners
  • Food freezers and the food in them
  • Portable microwave ovens

Coverage in Basements

Flood insurance covers structural elements, essential equipment and other basic items normally located in a basement, such as:

  • Unfinished drywall for walls and ceilings, including nonflammable insulation
  • Electrical junction and circuit breaker boxes, and required utility connections
  • Central air-conditioning units
  • Furnaces, hot-water heaters, fuel tanks and the fuel inside them, and heat pumps
  • Light fixtures
  • Foundation elements
  • Cleanup

However, flood insurance does not cover basement improvements such as finished walls, floors or ceilings or personal belongings that may be left in a basement such as furniture and other contents.

Facts

Everyone lives in a flood zone – floods are caused by storms, melting snow, hurricanes, and water backup due to inadequate or overloaded drainage systems, dam or levee failure, etc.

  • Flooding can happen anywhere – about 25% of flood insurance claims come from low to moderate-risk areas
  • Flood damage is not covered by homeowners policies
  • Flood insurance is affordable
  • Flood insurance is available to homeowners, renters, and business owners
  • There is a 30-day waiting period unless you are purchasing at the same time you are writing a mortgage
  • Federal disaster assistance is not insurance coverage – it is a loan that must be paid back
  • There is also an inexpensive preferred rate policy available if your flood zone qualifies