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:

  1. Overflow of inland or tidal waters
  2. Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source
  3. Mudflows
  4. 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:

  1. Clothing
  2. Furniture, housewares, bedding
  3. Decorative items, lamps, and lighting fixtures
  4. Books, home electronics
  5. Area rugs and draperies
  6. Clothes washers and dryers
  7. Air conditioners
  8. Food freezers and the food in them
  9. Portable microwave ovens

Coverage in Basements

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

  1. Unfinished drywall for walls and ceilings, including non-flammable insulation
  2. Electrical junction and circuit breaker boxes, and required utility connections
  3. Central air-conditioning units
  4. Furnaces, hot-water heaters, fuel tanks and the fuel inside them, and heat pumps
  5. Light fixtures
  6. Foundation elements
  7. 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 overlooked drainage systems, dam or levee failure, etc.

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