Floods happen in all 50 states: on coasts, on mountains, along rivers, in the desert, in towns and cities of every size. In recent years, roughly 25% of all flood insurance claims came from areas not considered high risk.
What is a flood? Flood, as used in a flood insurance policy, means:
1. 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 (one
of which is your property) from:
a. Overflow of inland or tidal waters,
b. Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source,
2. 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 in 1.a.
Unlike a standard homeowner's policy, flood insurance covers losses to your property caused by flooding. Some of the things a standard flood policy will cover include-
•structural damage to the building and its foundation
•the electrical and plumbing systems
•furnace, water heater, and central air conditioner
•refrigerators, cooking stoves, and built-in appliances
•permanently installed carpeting over an unfinished floor
•flood debris cleanup
You can also buy a flood insurance policy to cover the contents of your home, such as furniture, clothing, food freezers and the food in them, portable air conditioners, and certain valuable items, such as artwork and furs (up to $2,500).
Policies are available in three forms: Dwelling (for most homes), General Property (for apartment buildings and businesses) and Residential Condominium Building Association (condominiums).
Flood insurance can be purchased for any eligible property located in a community that participates in the NFIP. Flood insurance can be purchased at any time regardless of your flood risk, and coverage is available subject to exclusions and limitations in the policy.
• In most cases there is a 30-day waiting period after applying and paying the
premium for a standard flood insurance policy before it becomes effective.
• If you already have flood insurance, policies under the National Flood
Insurance Program cover flood damages to insured buildings and contents,
whether caused by man-made events such as an intentional opening of
spillways or breaching of levees, or whether simply caused by a natural
• For general flood insurance questions, a step-by-step guide to filing a
flood claim, and more information about flood insurance, visit
www.floodsmart.gov or call 1-888-379-9531.