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Flood Insurance Coverage

Updated on April 11, 2013

Who Needs Flood Insurance?

You never know when you'll wish you had flood insurance coverage.

Case in point: Recently a family member who lives in the Midwest had serious damage to his home after constant rains saturated the ground. His home was damaged when this rain soaked the ground causing the soil around his house to become water logged. His home's foundation caved in. The saturated soil swelled with water causing dirt and cement blocks to move from their usual place into his basement.

He didn't have flood insurance because he didn't think he needed it. And who would think this would be considered a flood? The circumstances were not what we think of as a flood. After all, he lives miles from a river or other water body that could overflow, and the ground didn't have standing water like you think of with a flood.

But the insurance adjuster called it a flood, and without flood insurance, his insurance company did not compensate him for the damage. Here's more information on what flood insurance is and why you might need flood insurance coverage.

Photo of 1927 Mississippi River Flood, Mounds Cairo, IL Highway. Photo Credit: Steve Nicklas, NOS, NGS. Photo is in the public domain at Wikimedia Commons.

A Flood Defined

According to FloodSmart.org,

a flood is defined as:

- Overflow of inland or tidal waters

- Unusual and rapid accumulation

or runoff of surface waters

from any source

- Mudflow

- 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

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) - More flood information

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) was created by Congress in 1968. The NFIP works with communities across the U.S. to protect areas from flooding by enforcing FEMA ordinances. In participating areas, homeowners can purchase flood insurance coverage to protect their homes from floods.

Source: FloodSmart.org

  1. The following occurrences can cause floods: flash floods, Spring thaw, La Nina, heavy rains, ice jams, flood after fire, West Coast rainy season, new development, snow melt, tropical storms, mud flows.
  2. Standard homeowner's insurance does not cover homes against floods. A separate flood insurance policy is needed. Check with your insurance agent about coverage.
  3. Everyone in the U.S. lives in a flood zone; all 50 states have floods.
  4. Floods constitute the number 1 natural disaster in the U.S.

The cost of flood insurance coverage

starts at $129 for those living in

low- to moderate-risk areas.

More Facts About Flood Insurance - From Consumer Advocate Clark Howard

Source: Clark Howard

  • FEMA runs the flood insurance program in the U.S. even though you can buy flood insurance through an insurance agency.
  • There are two types of flood insurance coverage: coverage for your structure and coverage for your possessions
  • Flood insurance will pay the actual value of a dwelling or the possessions, not necessarily full replacement value.

Most flood insurance policies

go into effect 30 days

after they are purchased.

Portable Generator for When the Power is Out - Floods, Bad Weather

Affiliate Disclosure

This author, Peggy Hazelwood, participates in Amazon, eBay, All Posters, and other affiliate advertising programs. When you click an advertising link on this page and make a purchase, I receive a small percent of the sale. Thank you for reading this far!

Please share your flood insurance experiences.

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    • profile image

      BeInsuranceSavvy 5 years ago

      A great lense! very informative! Flood can happen to so many people, and if it doesn't flood for 25 years, one day can be the day. Everyone needs flood isnurance, and me, as insurance agent, know that it cost so little, like $200-$300 per year, and it is really worth it.

    • Virginia Allain profile image

      Virginia Allain 6 years ago from Central Florida

      Originally 1/2 of our home was classified as being in a flood zone and the other 1/2 wasn't. :-) We consider flood insurance essential, as nature is unpredictable and loss of our home would be devastating.

    • gottaloveit2 profile image

      gottaloveit2 6 years ago

      A very helpful lens, especially to those in low lying areas. A flood can be so devastating - Old Town Alexandria over here by DC just got flooded again a few months ago.