Flood Insurance

Flooding is the nation’s number one natural disaster. Similar to Earthquake Insurance, coverage for damages caused to your home by flood is also excluded on most homeowner policies. But how exactly is “flood” defined? This is something that most homeowners overlook. Flood is not limited to a local bay overflowing or the breakage of a dam. In fact, did you know that if your street sewers do not drain properly and water comes from the ground up the insurance company may consider this flood as well? Even a couple of inches of water can cause vast and extensive damages to your home. Our office works with carriers direct to offer coverage through NFIP (National Flood Insurance Program) as well as independent flood insurance companies. Remember, your Homeowners Insurance does not provide coverage and government assistance programs are usually very limited in scope and amount. Preparing yourself by staying protected is better than finding out the hard way. Trust us, we have seen it happen.


Definition of “Flood”

In general, coverage is provided for direct physical loss to the property from a flood which is described as:

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 (at least 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
c. Mudflow - defined as a river of liquid and flowing mud on the surfaces of normally dry land areas

such as when earth is carried by a current of water.  Landslide, slope failures, or saturated soil moving down a slope are not mudflows. 


Some additional facts and FAQ regarding Flood Insurance


  • In January 2010, tens of thousands of homeowners in Southern California were forced to purchase flood insurance due to new maps issued by FEMA designating new and wider high-risk flood areas.

  • Buying and maintain flood insurance is mandatory for people with federally backed mortgages living in high-risk designated areas. This is regulated by the lender.

  • More than 25% of all NFIP flood claims come from low to moderate risk areas!

  • Federal disaster assistance is available in some cases; however, federal disasters are declared in less than half of all flooding incidents. Furthermore, the interest on most federal disaster loans is often more expensive that the annual premium for a flood insurance policy.

  • Is my basement covered? Flood Insurance policies have some coverage for basement elements such as furnaces, water heaters, utility connections and other items but will typically exclude basement contents, finished floors, walls and ceilings.


Other Information


  • Flood Insurance can be offered from your homeowner insurance provider or can be bought separately from an independent insurance carrier. Some carriers may offer limited flood or water backup coverage as an endorsement rather than offering it as a separate policy.

  • Coverage is typically provided for flood damage to the building itself. This includes foundation elements, posts, pilings, piers or other support systems. Coverage is excluded for most building located entirely over water (like a boat house), other structures (such as fences, retaining walls, swimming pools) and items outside the building like walkways, decks and patios.

  • Coverages are typically limited to the dwelling but some companies offer coverage on other structures, personal property coverage, and loss of use coverage. Coverage is also available for condos, and renters and commercial properties as well.

  • With limited exceptions, there is a 30 day waiting period after you have paid the premium before the policy becomes effective.

  • Please visit our insurance glossary tab for a full list of insurance terms and definitions.

  • There are many discounts available to help reduce your premium. Please visit our learning insurance discounts page to find out more information on how to maximize your savings.

This page contains only a general description of coverages and is not a contract. Details of coverage or limits may vary in some states and by carrier. All coverages are subject to the terms, provisions, exclusions, and conditions in the policy itself and in any endorsements.

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