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Flood & Flood Insurance Information

What is a flood?

A flood is an excess of water (or mud) on land that is normally dry. The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) defines flood to 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 the policyholder’s property) from:

Flood Insurance

While floods are the most common natural disaster in the United States, insurance coverage for losses from floods is not provided in standard homeowners or tenants policies. Insurance for flood damages is generally available under a separate policy issued through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and available to homeowners, renters and businesses.

Homeowners

You may purchase flood insurance covering up to $250,000 of flood damage to your home. A standard flood policy will cover structural damage, including damage to the furnace, water heater, air conditioner, floor surfaces (carpeting and tile) and debris clean-up.

The contents of your home are not covered under a standard flood policy, but for an additional premium, you also may purchase flood coverage for up to $100,000 of damage to your personal property.

Coverage for basements, crawlspaces and ground-level enclosures on elevated homes is limited. If your home has these spaces, be sure to ask your insurance agent about any restrictions in your coverage.

Renters

Flood is not covered under your basic renters insurance policy. Talk with your insurance agent about your flooding risks to decide if you need flood coverage for your belongings.

Business owners

A flood insurance policy coverage will cover up to $500,000 on a non-residential building and its contents.

How Much Does Flood Insurance Cost?

According to Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), the average homeowners flood insurance premium is approximately $500 a year.

Premiums for flood insurance will vary depending on your risk level for a flood loss, the amount of coverage you choose, the type of coverage you need and your deductible.

How Do I Buy Flood Insurance?

You can purchase flood insurance for your home or business regardless of whether the property is in a floodplain. Contact your insurance agent or company to find out if your community participates in the NFIP. You can also visit www.floodsmart.gov to get more information about your flood risk.

Plan Ahead: Flood Insurance has a Waiting Period

It is very important to plan ahead. A flood insurance policy normally will not go into effect until 30 days after you purchase the policy.

What Should I Do if My Property is Damaged Due to a Flood?

If you have a flood insurance policy, the first step to take is to begin the claim process by filing a claim with your insurance agent, broker or company. Tips for filing a claim after a loss can be found on our main Disaster & Flood Resource Center. The insurance company will send an adjuster out to review the damages and assess whether they are covered by the policy. 

Additional Tips

Have a storm or disaster-related problem with your Insurer or Bank? File a complaint with the Department.

Learn more about preparing for and find more resources for coping with a flood, storm or disaster in our Disaster Resource Center.

Updated 08/19/2013