Flood damage is not covered under a homeowner’s insurance policy.

In order to have coverage in the event of a flood, you must purchase an additional flood insurance policy. Anyone can be financially vulnerable to floods. In fact, policyholders outside of mapped high-risk flood areas file over 20 percent of all NFIP flood insurance claims and receive one-third of federal disaster assistance for flooding. When it’s available, federal disaster assistance is typically a loan you must repay with interest.

 

Flood insurance is offered by the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), which is part of FEMA. It’s not necessary to get a state-specific plan.  You can only get flood coverage by purchasing it through an insurance agent (consumers cannot buy flood insurance directly from the NFIP).

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 a 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 (in part) 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 do I need to know about flood insurance?”

Video by FEMA

Important things to know about flood insurance:

Flood insurance typically does not take effect until 30 days after the purchase date.

Once a flood alert has been issued in your area, it is too late to purchase coverage.

The lower the degree of risk, the lower the premium.

Earthquake Insurance

Earthquake insurance is a form of property insurance that pays the policyholder in the event that an earthquake causes damage. Most ordinary homeowners insurance policies do not cover earthquake loss.

 

Interestingly enough, earthquake insurance covers things other than earthquakes, because the definition of an earthquake includes the shifting, rising or sinking of the earth. So, other things such as mudslides, mudflows, sinkholes, and tremors are often included in the definition of an earthquake and may be covered under your policy.

 

An earthquake insurance policy typically covers the dwelling, other detached structures located on your property and personal possessions. You should note that there may be policy limits or exclusions on some types of losses from earth movement, so be sure to review your needs and coverage with your agent.

 

Damage from earthquakes is often excluded from a standard homeowner’s policy. For this reason, earthquake insurance is a specialized policy that you must purchase separately.

 

If you are wondering whether you are at risk for earthquake damage and how to find the right coverage for your needs – out agents will work with you and review the best options for your property.

What is Hurricane Insurance?

Hurricane coverage is especially important for homeowners who live in risk-prone areas. Although most policies will cover wind damage and any water damage caused by the exposure of your home to the elements, usually it will not cover damage caused by any resulting flooding.

 

Some homeowners policies exclude hurricane damage altogether, especially in hurricane prone states, and you may be required to purchase a separate “comprehensive hurricane policy.” It’s very important to read your homeowners policy to determine whether hurricanes and other severe storms are covered. Hurricane Coverage typically includes the house structure, and may or may not include detached structures, your personal possessions, and clean-up costs.

 

Hurricane insurance may or may not include living expenses to help you pay for alternative living arrangements when your home is uninhabitable. Many policies also have a special separate hurricane deductible. This is different from your standard homeowners insurance deductible; typically it ranges from 3 to 5 percent of the policy value, but can also be a specific dollar amount you will need to pay, if your home sustains hurricane damage.

These definitions provide a brief description of the terms and phrases used within the insurance industry. These definitions are not applicable in all states or for all insurance and financial products. This is not an insurance contract. Other terms, conditions and exclusions apply. Please read your official policy for full details about coverages. These definitions do not alter or modify the terms of any insurance contract. If there is any conflict between these definitions and the provisions of the applicable insurance policy, the terms of the policy control. Additionally, this informational resource is not intended to fully set out your rights and obligations or the rights and obligations of the insurance company, agent or agency. If you have questions about your insurance, you should contact your insurance agent, the insurance company, or the language of the insurance policy.