What's covered under flood insurance?

I get this question a lot. What do you mean my homeowners insurance doesn’t cover my home if there is a flood? You are not alone if you also thought this. While your homeowners insurance does cover you for most perils. It doesn’t insure your home and personal property from damage caused by a flood. Before we go any further flood does not mean water damage caused by a broken pipe.


The definition of a flood to the insurance industry has to meet a few criteria. The rising water has to cover at least 2 or more acres that’s normally dry, or has damaged 2 or more adjacent properties with one of the homes being yours. The water has to come from tidal or overflowing inland waters. So water from sewer, drain backups or sump pumps that have leakage or seepage is not covered by flood insurance. These items might be covered by your homeowners insurance depending on the endorsements you have.


Now that we know what is considered a flood in the insurance world and that your homeowners insurance will not cover you for a loss due to a flood. What does flood insurance cover and do I need it. Everybody lives in a flood zone, it just depends where the home is located and how vicious the flood zone is will determine how bad the flood might get if at all. Generally flood insurance is a good idea if your home is located in a flood zone labeled AE, or V. If your home is located in an X flood zone doesn’t mean that you will never experience a flood but is less prone than the other zones to flood.


Flood Insurance can cover your dwelling and personal contents (your stuff.) The following is a list of items covered under flood insurance for damage caused be a flood. Home and foundation, Electric and plumbing systems, HVAC, water heaters, appliances (refrig,stove, dishwasher, washer, dryer), carpets that are permanently installed, blinds, curtains, clothing, furniture, electronics and several other items. The dwelling is covered under the NFIP (national flood insurance program) the cost to rebuild or the actual value of your home (whichever is less). Your personal items are paid on actual cash value in the event of a loss.


The NFIP will cover your dwelling up to $250,000. What is f my home is valued higher? You will need to have an excess policy to cover the difference. Your personal items will be covered up to $100,000. As you can see the coverage for flood and your homeowners insurance covers a lot of the same stuff but under very different circumstances. There are a few other things that are different from your homeowners insurance. There are other conditions for flood insurance to stay intact. With the NFIP there is a 30 day waiting period before the insurance goes into effect unless its at a purchase of a new property, being taken over by agent of record or for property was remapped to a flood zone.


As you can can see having flood insurance is a good idea. Also flood insurance is a little confusing as to what is or is not covered under the policy. This is why it’s important to speak with a qualified insurance agent. We at Central Ridge Insurers have several years experience in the flood insurance market and can help guide you through the turbulent waters of understanding the right coverage for you.

Additional information can be found here: https://www.fema.gov/national-flood-insurance-program

Confused about flood insurance? You’re not the only one. We are here to help.