Property damage caused by flooding is not covered by standard homeowners’ insurance policies, so those facing a flood risk need a separate flood insurance policy. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides access to affordable, federally backed flood insurance.
What is a Flood?
The NFIP defines a flood 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 (at least one of which is your property) from:
- Overflow of inland or tidal waters;
- Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source;
- Mudflow; or
- Collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or similar 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 as defined above.
What is Covered?
A flood insurance policy generally covers physical damage to building or personal property directly caused by a flood. The NFIP offers coverage for Building Property and Personal Property (contents), which must be purchased separately.
Building Property coverage generally insures:
- the building and its foundation
- electrical and plumbing systems
- central air conditioning equipment, furnaces and water heaters
- refrigerators, cooking stoves and built-in appliances
- permanently installed carpeting over an unfinished floor
- permanently installed paneling, wallboard, bookcases and cabinets
- window blinds
- detached garages (up to 10 percent of Building Property coverage)
- debris removal
Personal Property coverage generally insures:
- personal belongings such as clothing, furniture and electronics
- portable and window air conditioners
- portable microwave ovens and portable dishwashers
- carpets not covered by the Building Property policy
- washers and dryers
- food freezers and the food in them
- certain valuable items such as original artwork and furs (up to $2,500)
What is Not Covered?
Neither type of coverage protects against:
- damage caused by moisture, mildew or mold that could have been avoided
- currency, precious metals and valuable papers
- property and belongings outside of a building, such as trees, plants, wells, septic systems, walks, decks, patios, fences, seawalls, hot tubs and swimming pools
- living expenses, such as temporary housing
- financial losses caused by business interruption or loss of use of insured property
- most self-propelled vehicles such as cars, including their parts
If you would like more information about the National Flood Insurance Program or are interested in obtaining flood insurance, please contact us.
If you would like to subscribe to our newsletters please click here.