What to know before you buy flood insurance.
To understand what flood insurance is and whether you need flood insurance, there is a lot to consider. You need to understand the limitations of homeowners or renters insurance coverage, the definition of a flood, and how to evaluate your flood risk.
Standard Homeowners Policies DO NOT Cover Flood Damage
Flood insurance provides coverage for more severe types of water damage that is beyond what standard homeowners insurance covers.
That is important to understand because the most commonly issued homeowners policies specifically exclude certain types of water damage, including flood.
This is what the standard insurance form states:
a. Flood, surface water, waves, tidal water, overflow of a body of water, or spray from any of these, whether or not driven by wind;
b. Water or water-borne material which backs up through sewers or drains or which over-flows or is discharged from a sump, sump pump or related equipment; or
c. Water or water-borne material below the surface or the ground, including water which exerts pressure on or seeps or leaks through a building, sidewalk, driveway foundation, swimming pool or other structure;
caused by or resulting from human or animal forces or any act of nature.
In addition, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has a very specific definition of a flood:
A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of 2 or more acres of normally dry land area or of 2 or more properties (at least 1 of which is the policyholder’s property) from:
1. Overflow of inland or tidal waters; or
2. Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source; or
3. Mudslides (i.e., mudflows) which are proximately caused by flooding and are akin to 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 and deposited along the path of the current.; or
4. 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.
A flood inundates a floodplain. Most floods fall into three major categories: riverine flooding, coastal flooding, and shallow flooding. Alluvial fan flooding is another type of flooding more common in the mountainous western states.
What is my flood risk?
Get a Flood Insurance Quote
If you have questions about your flood risk or just want an expert assessment, call us at 800-596-1810 or use the contact form below to email us.
Everyone needs to understand their flood risk. Many people rely on the FEMA Flood Insurance Rate Maps, but that might not be an accurate assessment. A report by the Association of State Floodplain Managers states that the flood maps that FEMA produced cover only about one-third of the nation’s 3.5 million miles of streams and 46% of shoreline.
This is key because according to the Insurance Information Institute, “90% of all natural disasters in the United States involve flooding, and flood damage strikes frequently in low or moderate risk areas.”
Even if you do not live in a flood zone or near a body of water, or your area is experiencing drought conditions, your risk for flooding may still be high and flood risks can change over time. Contact our expert insurance agents for a more accurate risk assessment and help to evaluate your risk.
Flood Insurance May Be Worth the Cost
Flood Insurance Can Be Affordable
Preferred Risk Flood Policy (PRP) provides flood insurance protection at a lower cost. If your home is in a low-to-moderate risk area, you may be eligible. You might lower your costs even more by bundling your insurance plans and/or through flood mitigation options. Get a quote see how much can you save by bundling.
We can advise you on flood insurance protection for single-family homes, high-value and second homes, rental units, condominiums, commercial properties, and businesses.
We have local agents to assist you with your flood insurance needs for properties located in New Hampshire, Connecticut, Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, and Florida.
Hurricane Recovery Checklist
In the aftermath of a hurricane, you and your business will likely have to deal with water damage, flooding, and damaged utilities. Download our hurricane recovery checklist to take steps to keep your business and customers safe after a hurricane passes.