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.
- 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:
- 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
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.
The Flood 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