Flood Insurance

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Flood Insurance

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:

  • A nearby river overflows its banks and washes into you home.

  • Surface water caused by a heavy rain seeps into your basement because the soil can't absorb the water quickly enough.
  • A heavy rain or flash flood causes the hill behind your house to collapse into a mud slide that oozes into your home.

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 excellent purchase.


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:

  • A hailstorm smashes your window, permitting hail and rain free access to your home.

  • A heavy rain soaks through the roof, allowing water to drip through your attic or ceiling.
  • A broken water pipe spews water in your home.

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.