Insurance: A Guide for the Masses

« Back to Home

What Is Flood Insurance and What Does It Cover?

Posted on

Your main homeowner's insurance does not cover water damage from floods. Flood insurance is something you need to add to your insurance coverage. Even if you don't live near a body of water, you may still benefit from flood insurance. Here is more information about flood insurance, what it covers and does not cover, and when it is usable.

What Is Flood Insurance?

Flood insurance is a separate policy from your homeowner's insurance. It protects your home and property from water damage by an outside source. This is different from water damage coverage that may already be included in your policy. The water damage coverage that is traditionally covered by homeowner's insurance is in the event of a leak or other internal water damage not caused by mother nature. Most people buy insurance from the National Flood Insurance Program. You can also contact your insurance provider about just adding additional flood protection to your plan.

What Does Flood Insurance Cover?

Flood insurance mainly covers damage to your home as well as your home's foundation and support structures. It also covers damage to your home's electrical equipment and plumbing, as well as carpeting, curtains, and furniture, custom wood-paneled walls, and integrated bookshelves. You may be covered for valuables up to a certain amount. Your garage may also be covered.

What Doesn't Flood Insurance Cover?

Flood insurance does not cover your home's outdoor structures and improvements. This includes trees, patios, outside furniture, septic tanks, and swimming pools. It also does not cover paper money, stock certificates, or valuables over a certain dollar amount. Flood insurance also will not cover your vehicles, though your auto insurance may provide coverage for those. Flood insurance does not cover damage to your home from earth movement caused by water erosion.

What Is Considered a Flood?

A flood is a sudden rise of water from a natural source over an area that is normally dry. However, flood insurance also covers damage from a sudden surge or runoff of water or mud. This runoff can be from any surface including paved roads. This flood or water surge must damage at least two properties, including yours. One thing that is not considered a flood, for the basis of flood insurance, is anything to do with a drain or sewer backup.

Flood insurance is something that most homeowners and renters should consider—even if it is not mandatory in your area. Most types of flood insurance require a thirty-day waiting period. So don't wait until storm season to purchase this coverage. For more information about flood insurance, as well as additional insurance to cover special valuables and other circumstances, contact a flood insurance company.