Only Flood Insurance Will Cover Your Flood Losses
If an individual relies on a homeowners insurance policy to cover
whatever flood damage occurs, the result will not be favorable to the
property owner. Only flood insurance will cover such losses. Because
flood insurance has a 30-day waiting period, property owners should
not let an imminent flooding force a decision to obtain this insurance.
There are two basic insurance policies that deal with a homeowner's
damage due to water -- a flood insurance policy and a homeowner's
insurance policy. Losses not covered by one of these policies may be
covered by the another policy. Knowing the losses to which your home
could be exposed will help you decide whether to buy one or both of
these insurance coverages.
While insurance policies may differ in the coverages provided, often
there are basic features common to all policies. The homeowner should
ask his or her insurance professional about the specifics of one's
specific insurance policy. In the meantime, the following general
information is based on standard insurance policies.
As the name implies, a standard flood insurance policy, which is made
available by the National Floor Insurance Program, provides coverage
up to the policy limit for damage caused by flood. The dictionary
defines "flood" as a rising and overflowing of a body of
water onto normally dry land. For insurance purposes, the word
"rising" in this definition is the key to distinguishing
flood damage from water damage. Also important to note is that
flooding must be general and temporary, and it must affect more than
just one property.
Generally, damage caused by water that has been on the ground at some
point before damaging your home is considered to be flood damage.
Examples of flood damage may include:
Flood damage to your home can be insured only with a flood insurance
policy -- no other insurance will cover flood damage. Flood insurance
is available through your insurance professional. To determine if
your home is located in a flood plain, contact your county planning
office. If you are living in a flood plain, flood insurance may be an
A homeowners insurance policy does not provide coverage for flood
damage, but it does provide coverage for many types of water damage
to your home. Just the opposite from flood damage, for insurance
purposes, water damage is considered to occur when water damages your
home before the water comes in contact with the ground. A few
examples of water damage may include:
Even if your homeowners insurance policy doesn't cover the water or
flood damage you've experienced, losses from theft, fire or explosion
resulting from that damage are covered. For example, if a nearby
creek overflows and floods your home, and looters steal some of your
possessions after you've evacuated the house, the theft would be
covered by your homeowners insurance. However, the flood damage would
be covered only if you have flood insurance.
Flood insurance and homeowners insurance do not duplicate coverage
for water damage. Instead, they complement each other. It is up to
you to talk to your insurance professional about flood insurance and
homeowners insurance and then decide which insurance coverage you
need to protect your home, its contents and your family.
For more information on flood insurance visit our specialist site below.