Flood Insurance FAQs
What does an insurer consider a flood?
The National Flood Insurance Program defines a flood as a general or temporary condition where two or more acres or two or more properties of normally dry land are covered by water or mudflow.
My current insurance policy protects against water damage. Why would I need extra flood insurance coverage?
Because water damage and flood damage are two different issues. Water damage is the result of heavy rainstorms or hailstorms that soak through your roof and seep into walls and ceilings, as well as damage from a water pipe bursting or a toilet overflowing. None of these are floods, water arising from a natural source onto land where it otherwise doesn’t exist.
How do I know if I’m in a flood area?
Consult the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Flood Map Service Center to locate your area’s flood map.
What does my flood zone mean?
Moderate- to low-risk areas are designated with the letters B, C, or X. High-risk flood areas are designated with the letters A or V.
Do I need flood insurance if I’m in a low- or moderate-risk area?
According to FEMA, one of every three insurance claims come from low- to-moderate risk flood areas.
I’ve heard that you can’t get flood insurance if you are in a high-risk area. Is that true?
No. If your community participates in NFIP, you can buy federal flood insurance.
So if I’m not in a flood zone I don’t need flood insurance?
Just because you aren’t in a flood zone, or in a low- or moderate-risk zone, doesn’t mean you’ll never get flooded. Climate is changing, and flood zones are changing as well. Flood risks change over time.
Maybe I can wait until my flood zone changes, or the weather forecast contains possible flooding conditions?
It may be difficult for an insurer to write a policy that quickly, or provide coverage just as impending flood conditions are occurring. Remember the adage, he who hesitates is lost.
What does flood insurance cover?
Flood insurance covers any damages to your home and property as well as damages to the possessions inside your home. This includes damage to appliances, carpet and flooring, cabinetry, electrical and plumbing, heating and air conditioning units. Note that flood insurance for the structure of your home and personal property are separate coverages, each with separate limits and deductibles.
What doesn’t flood insurance cover?
Following NFIP guidelines, flood insurance doesn’t cover such issues as damages to:
- Retaining walls and decks
- Swimming pools
- Currency or valuable papers
In addition, damage caused by the movement of earth during a flood, as well as living expenses following a flood, are frequently not covered. What is or is not covered by flood insurance varies by policy contract. Read your policy carefully and consult your Compass Insurance agent to be sure of exactly what is covered by your flood insurance.
What about my basement?
There is limited flood insurance coverage for basement damage. Carpeting and walls are not covered, nor is personal property kept in the basement. However, most policies cover flood damage to basement water heaters, furnaces, washers, and dryers.
Can renters obtain flood insurance?
Yes, but for personal property only.
How can I know for sure what my flood insurance covers?
Read your policy carefully. Better yet, consult with your Compass Insurance agent.