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Flood Insurance

Frequently Asked Questions
About Flood Insurance

Q: What is Flood Insurance and why should I purchase it?

A: A Flood Insurance policy covers damages from flooding to your home or business and its contents. There are limits to what will be covered, depending on which policy you choose. Every homeowner should consider carrying Flood Insurance. Even if you don’t live in a high-risk flood zone, you are at risk of a rising water incident. The fact is that one inch of water in a home can cause damages that cost more than $25,000 to repair. Carrying Flood Insurance can make the difference between recovery and financial disaster.

Q: What is considered a flood?

A: Definition of a flood for insurance purposes: A flood is when two or more acres or two or more properties have an excess amount of water that covers land that is typically dry.


Q: Does my Homeowners Insurance cover a flooding event?

A: No, it does not.


Q: What is covered under a Flood Insurance policy?

A: There are two types of coverage in a Flood Insurance policy: Buildings and Contents


Building Coverage Protects:

  • Foundation walls, staircases attached to a building, anchorage systems

  • Plumbing and electrical systems

  • Water heaters, furnaces, central air condition systems

  • Fuel tanks and the fuel in them

  • Water tanks and cisterns 

  • Heat and sump pumps

  • Solar energy equipment

  • Detached garage (covers up to 10% of your total building insurance coverage, but that amount will be subtracted from the total amount of building coverage available)

  • Major appliances like refrigerators, cooking stoves, dishwashers, etc.

  • Permanently installed carpeting, cabinets, bookcases, and paneling

  • Window blinds


Contents Cover Protects:

  • Furniture, clothing, electrical equipment, and personal belongings (only if they are not stored in the basement)

  • Valuable items such as furs and original artwork (up to a certain limit)

  • Washer and dryer

  • Microwave oven

  • Air conditions that are portable or in a window

  • Carpets that are not permanent

  • Curtains and other window treatments

  • Groundwater and mudflow 

Q: What is not covered under a Flood Insurance policy?

A: The cause of flooding matters when determining what is covered by Flood Insurance. Flood insurance covers losses directly caused by flooding.  For example, damage caused by a sewer backup is covered if the backup is a direct result of flooding. If the sewer backup is not caused directly by flooding, the damage is not covered. Here’s a list of what is not covered by Flood Insurance:

  • Foundation walls, staircases attached to a building, anchorage systems

  • Personal property kept in basements

  • Damage caused by moisture, mildew, or mold that could have been avoided by the property owner or which is not attributable to the flood.

  • Damage caused by a sewer backup that is not caused directly by flooding

  • Loss of use or access to the insured property

  • Temporary housing and additional living expenses incurred while the building is being repaired or is unable to be occupied

  • Financial losses caused by business interruption

  • Property and belongings outside of an insured building, such as trees, plants, wells, septic systems, walks, decks, patios, fences, seawalls, hot tubs, and swimming pools

  • Currency, precious metals, and valuable papers, such as stock certificates

  • Cars and most self-propelled vehicles including their parts


Q: What is the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP)?

A: The NFIP is administered by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and provides the bulk of residential flood coverage in the U.S. It can be purchased through Mitchell-Joseph Insurance agency.


Q: Am I required by law to purchase Flood Insurance?

A: Flood Insurance is only required if your home is in a Special Flood Hazard Area, which is determined by FEMA. If you live in a high-risk area and your mortgage is through a government-backed lender, then yes, Flood Insurance is required.


If you live in a low- to moderate-risk area, then no, Flood Insurance is not required, although it is recommended. The fact is that 20% of Flood Insurance claims come from low- to moderate-risk areas.


Q: What is the annual cost for Flood Insurance?

A: The cost of Flood Insurance varies widely and is based on how much coverage you want/need, and what flood plain you’re located in. Contact your agent to determine how much a flood policy will cost you.

Q: Who determines if my home or business is in a special flood hazard zone?   

A: FEMA determines where the Special Flood Hazard Areas are. They will notify you if you are and let you know that you are required to have flood insurance.


Q: How do I pay for my Flood Insurance?

A: If you’re required to have flood insurance, FEMA will add the cost to your monthly mortgage payment. They will keep the funds in an escrow account and pay the insurance bills on your behalf when they’re due.


If you’re not required to have flood insurance and you purchased flood insurance voluntarily, you’ll have to pay the premiums to your insurance company when they’re due.

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