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Flood Insurance Resources

What is a Flood?

Flood insurance covers direct physical loss caused by “flood.” In simple terms, a flood is an excess of water on land that is normally dry. Here’s the official definition used by the National Flood Insurance Program.

A flood is “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:

Overflow of inland or tidal waters;
Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source;
Mudflow*;or
Collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or similar body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels that result in a flood as defined above.”

*Mudflow is defined as “A river of liquid and flowing mud on the surfaces of normally dry land areas, as when earth is carried by a current of water…”

What Does Flood Insurance Cover?

Flood insurance policies cover physical damage to your property and possessions. You can use the following list as a general guide to what is and isn’t covered.

Building Property

  • The insured building and its foundation
  • Electrical and plumbing systems
  • Central air conditioning equipment, furnaces, and water heaters
  • 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
  • Debris removal

Personal Contents Property

  • Personal belongings, such as clothing, furniture, and electronic equipment
  • Curtains
  • 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’s Not Covered:

  • 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 (some private insurance policies may cover offer coverage
  • Financial losses caused by business interruption or loss of use of insured property (commercial policies by private companies may include coverage)
  • Most self-propelled vehicles such as cars, including their parts.
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