Residential flood insurance, available only through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), has specific rules that determine what is and isn’t covered by the policy.
In fact, the type of coverage available to you is dependent on the construction of your home and where you live.
A flood insurance policy is designed to cover your building and personal property and includes no personal liability coverage.
*Your personal liability must be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy.
What Is Covered by Flood Insurance?
To keep track of what is covered under this portion of your flood policy, you need to think about the physical structure, anything that is part of the building and “permanently” installed items.
Here is a breakdown of the general guidelines available at Floodsmart.gov:
– The insured building and its foundation
– Electrical and plumbing systems
– 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
Personal Contents Property:
Here you need to think about your “stuff” and anything that is not permanent or part of the actual building structure, including:
– 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 Isn’t Covered by Flood Insurance?
The good news about what isn’t covered is that everything on the list can be covered by a different insurance policy, such as the homeowners or personal auto policy.
Let’s take a look at the list of items will need to insure elsewhere:
– 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)
What Else You Need to Consider
Basements and areas below the first elevated floor are more susceptible to flooding, therefore there are a few coverage limitations on the flood policy when it comes to homes with these attributes. The limitations depend on what year your home was built and what flood zone you happen to be located in. You will want to speak to an authorized flood insurance sales person to get the details.
Let’s look at a list of these limitations:
– Crawlspaces under an elevated building
– Enclosed areas beneath buildings elevated on full-story foundation walls that are sometimes referred to as “walkout basements”
You can visit Floodsmart.gov to locate a local flood insurance agent who can help you obtain the right flood insurance coverage for your individual needs.