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Flood Insurance Basics

Many homeowners are surprised to learn that flood damage is not covered under a homeowners policy. Many mortgage lenders will require flood insurance if you are located in a flood hazard area. Flood damage can be sudden, extensive and costly. 

Flood insurance in the United States is made available by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and managed by FEMA. However, these policies carry maximum limits ($250,000 for the building and $100,000 for contents).

Fortunately there are options to obtain additional coverage if these limits are not sufficient:

  • Private coverage – offered by a private insurer providing primary coverage instead of an NFIP policy.
  • Excess coverage – provides insurance on top of an NFIP policy, effectively extending the limits of flood coverage.


Who's if for?

Most lenders will require you to have flood insurance if you’re located in a special flood hazard area. You can search for your property on the FEMA website to see if located in or near one. Keep in mind these maps do change over time. Even homes not located in a high risk area may flood and without flood insurance you will typically need to pay for damages yourself since most homeowners and property policies exclude flood damage. Whether you’re required to carry coverage or are looking for added protection for your property we can help you find the flood coverage you need.

What does flood insurance cover?

Simple, flood damage right? Well yes, but we need to understand what is and what is not a flood.

The NFIP defines a flood as: “A general and temporary condition where two or more acres of normally dry land or two or more properties are inundated by water or mudflow”

Now that we know what a “flood” is we can talk about what items are and are not covered:

Typically Covered
  • Appliances
  • Electrical & plumbing systems
  • Carpeting & flooring
  • Foundation walls, staircases
  • Fuel Tanks, well water tanks, solar equipment
  • Personal belongings
Not Covered
  • Damaged not caused by a “flood” (i.e. sewer backup)
  • Personal property in basements or outside
  • Currency and precious metals
  • Additional living expenses
  • Cars

Keep in Mind

As a federally administered program flood insurance is designed to provide robust coverage at an affordable price.

Not all communities participate in the NFIP and coverage options may vary depending on your location.