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The Truth about Floods
Floods and flash floods happen in all 50 states, and even if you feel you live with a low risk of flooding, heavy rain can cause significant flooding, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Although standard homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding, the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides a means for property owners to financially protect themselves if a flood strikes. However, property owners that have flood insurance might still be stuck with the cost of water damage if they don’t have the appropriate coverage, according to NFIP. Get a better understanding of flood coverage by finding the answers to frequently asked questions below courtesy of NFIP. Find additional flood resources at DisasterSafety.org.
What is covered in my basement?
Flood insurance covers your home’s foundation elements and equipment that’s necessary to support the structure (for example: furnace, water heaters, circuit breakers, etc.).
It’s important to note that some items in your basement are covered under building coverage (like a furnace, hot water heater and circuit breaker) and others are covered under contents coverage that must be purchased in addition to building coverage (for example, your washer and dryer, or your freezer and the food in it).
The NFIP encourages people to purchase both building and contents coverage. Flood insurance does not cover basement improvements, such as finished walls, floors, ceilings or personal belongings that may be kept in a basement.
Is flood damage from wind-driven rain covered?
No. When rain enters through a wind-damaged window or door, or comes through a hole in a wall or roof, the NFIP considers the resulting puddles and damage to be windstorm-related, not flood-related.
Flood insurance covers overflow of inland or tidal waters and unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source. However, the flood must be 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 yours). Although flood insurance specifically excludes wind and hail damage, the good news is that most homeowners insurance provides such coverage.
What is Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) coverage?
If a flood damages your property, you may be required by law to bring your home up to community and/or state floodplain management standards. If you have NFIP insurance, and your home has been declared substantially damaged by your community, ICC coverage is provided to cover up to $30,000 of the cost to elevate, flood proof, demolish, or relocate your property. ICC coverage is in addition to the coverage you receive to repair flood damages; however, the total payout on a policy may not exceed $250,000 for residential buildings and $500,000 for non-residential buildings.