What is Flood Insurance?
Standard homeowner’s insurance does not cover damage from floods, even though it will cover some damage from rain. If your building is filled with water resulting from rising lakes, streams or rivers, or if you live near coastal areas and experience a storm surge, your home can sustain significant damage that will not be covered unless you buy a flood policy. For example, only damage from water falling from the sky caused by a violent thunderstorm that pokes a hole in your roof will be covered under regular homeowner’s insurance.
Virtually anyone who owns a home in a high-risk flood zone must carry flood insurance per the terms of their mortgage loan. However, even homes located in low- to moderate- risk zones can occasionally experience damage as approximately 20 percent of all flood claims annually come from such areas annually. Flood-related claims average $30,000 per incident.
If you live in a community that participates in the the federally regulated program known as the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), you can choose from two types of policies. One covers your building and the surrounding property for up to $250,000. The other type of policy covers personal property up to $100,000. If you need coverage for more than $250,000, excess flood coverage is available from a limited number of providers.
A flood policy that insures your building will cover the cost to rebuild or the actual value of your home. Specific items include the building itself and the foundation, electrical system, plumbing system, HVAC equipment, water heater, permanently installed carpet over unfinished floors, large kitchen appliances, permanent wallboard, paneling, cabinets and bookcases, window blinds, detached garages and debris removal.
Purchasing a policy that covers personal property will cover items such as furniture, curtains, electronic equipment like televisions, window air conditioners, portable appliances like microwaves and dishwashers, carpets that don’t fit the building policy description, washers and dryers, food stored in freezers and up to $2,500 in valuables, including furs and art.