Insurance for Property Damaged by Floodwater

Floodwater moves quickly. Everything in floodwater's path is at risk. Make sure household members know how to respond.

  • Never drive, walk, or swim through floodwater. 
  • Keep children away from storm drains that pull water off flooded streets.
  • Avoid bridges that may be structurally compromised by rushing water underneath.
  • Be alert and stay tuned for further information when a flood adivosry, flood watch, or flood warning is in effect.

It takes just a few inches of water to cause serious damage to structures and belongings. Still, most individuals do not have a pre-established plan to handle this financial hardship. Owners and renters often buy insurance to help them recover from sudden and unexpected property loss. Many do not realize that certain losses are not covered because they are widespread, unpredictalbe, and catastrophic in nature. These situations, called exclusions, are identified in the insurance policy. Flood-related property damage is among these exclusions.

Coverage for flood damage is available by purchasing a separate, stand-alone policy. Flood insurance protects only one loss - flood. Federally insured mortgage lenders require flood insurance on homes in high-risjk areas. Flood policies are optional for everyone else.

Flood insurance is backed by the federal govrenment and sold through the National Flood Insurance Program and certain private insurers. Coverage is available to people living in participating communities. Participating communities have agreed to adopt and enforce floodplain management ordinances. Reasons to consider buying a flood insurance policy:

  • Traditional property insurance policies exclude coverage for flood-related damage.
  • 25% of all flood insurance claims happen in areas that are not considered high risk, according to the National Flood Insruance Program.
  • Flood insurance is available for homes, condominiums, apartments, and commercial buildings.
  • Coverage is available for dwellings up to $250,000. Personal property can be insured separately up to $100,000.
  • There is a 30-day waiting period before coverage takes effect.
  • For the building, flood insurance covers damage to the structure and foundation, furnace, water heater, central air conditioning unit, and electrical and plumbing systems. it also covers flood debris clean-up, damage to flooring, wallboard, and more.
  • For personal property, flood insurance covers damage to belongings, curtains, appliances, and more.
  • The price of flood insurance is based on factors like flood risk zone, building construction, number of floors, foundation, and more.

Recovering from flood damage can be financially devastating. Government assistance may be available if the President declares the area a disaster zone. Federal disaster assistance is unreliable and typically comes in the form of low-iinterest loans that must be repaid. Having flood isnurance can mean the difference between recovery and financial ruin. Contact a local property insurance agent for specific coverage and cost details.

Heavy rain can also cause sewer lines to back up, or sump pumps to overflow. Surplus water can mean costly damage to floors, walls, furniture, and more. Flood insurance does not cover damage caused by sewer backup or sump pump overflow. However, coverage can be added by endorsement to a homeowner, renter, or condominium policy. This buy-back insurance covers personal property, and structural damage caused by water that backs up through sewer drains or overflows from a sump pump. The endorsement limits coverage to a specific dollar amount and has a separate deductible. Your homeowners insurance agent can provide pricing and coverage information.