Here are a few valuable facts about flood insurance:
- Floods are the #1 natural disaster in the United States.
- Floods and flash floods happen in all 50 states.
- Most insurance does NOT cover flood damage.
- Hurricanes, winter storms and snow melt are common (but often overlooked) causes of flooding.
- Water damage from hurricanes and other disasters is also not covered by standard policies
- You are eligible to purchase flood insurance as long as your community participates in the National Flood Insurance program.
- State or federal disaster assistance is only available if your community is declared a disaster area.
- Just because you haven’t experienced a flood in the past, doesn’t mean you won’t in the future. Flood risk isn’t just based on history, it’s also based on a number of factors: rainfall, river-flow and tidal-surge data, topography, flood-control measures, and changes due to building and development.
- Nearly 20% of flood insurance claims come from moderate-to-low risk areas.
- Flood-hazard maps have been created to show different degrees of risk for your community, which help determine the cost of flood insurance. The lower the degree of risk, the lower the flood insurance premium.
What is Covered?
Flood insurance policies cover physical damage to your property and possessions.
- The insured building and its foundation
- Electrical and plumbing systems
- Central air conditioning equipment, furnaces and water heaters
- Refrigerators, cooking stoves and built-in appliances such as dishwashers
- Permanently installed carpeting over unfinished flooring
- Permanently installed paneling, wallboard, bookcases and cabinets
- Window blinds
- Detached garages (up to 10 percent of building property coverage); detached buildings (other than garages) require a separate building property policy
- Debris removal
Personal Contents Property:
- Personal belongings, such as clothing, furniture and electronic equipment
- Portable and window air conditioners
- Portable microwave ovens and portable dishwashers
- Carpets that are not included in building coverage
- Clothing washers and dryers
- Food freezers and the food in them
- Certain valuable items such as original artwork and furs (up to $2,500)
What’s NOT Covered:
- Damage caused by moisture, mildew or mold that could have been avoided by the property owner
- Currency, precious metals and valuable papers such as stock certificates
- Property and belongings outside of an insured 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 (see Section IV.5 in your policy)
Flood Insurance for basements and areas below the lowest elevated floor:
Coverage is limited in basements regardless of zone or date of construction. It’s also limited in areas below the lowest elevated floor, depending on the flood zone and date of construction. These areas include:
- Crawl spaces under an elevated building
- Enclosed areas beneath buildings elevated on full-story foundation walls that are sometimes referred to as “walkout basements”
- Enclosed areas under other types of elevated buildings
Make sure to ask your agent for additional details on your basement coverage.
You can learn more information at: www.floodsmart.gov