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Your Flood Insurance Policy in a Nutshell
What Is Covered & How to File a Claim

Table of Contents

When it comes to flood insurance, it’s important to understand your policy and what it covers.

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) offers flood insurance to homeowners, renters, and business owners through the Standard Flood Insurance Policy (SFIP). The SFIP provides coverage for flood damage to your home or business up to $250,000, and it also covers personal belongings up to $100,000.

If you live in a high-risk flood zone, your mortgage lender may require you to purchase flood insurance.

Even if you don’t live in a high-risk flood zone, flood insurance is still a good idea because floods can happen anywhere. And if you live in a community that participates in the NFIP, you may be eligible for discounts on your premium.

Maintaining coverage is the most important step you can take to protect against the cost of flood damage. So make sure you understand your policy and what it covers. And if you have any questions, contact your insurance agent or the NFIP.


What is the difference between FEMA and NFIP?

The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is managed by FEMA and is delivered to the public by a network of more than 50 insurance companies and the NFIP Direct. Floods can happen anywhere — just one inch of floodwater can cause up to $25,000 in damage. Most homeowners insurance does not cover flood damage.

That’s why it’s important to have flood insurance if you live in an area that is prone to flooding. The NFIP offers flood insurance for both homeowners and renters, and it is backed by the US government.

So if you’re ever faced with a flood, you can rest assured that you’re covered.

Flood Insurance is managed and delivered by FEMA and NFIP

What is included in my flood insurance policy declaration page?

The insurance company that issued your flood insurance policy will provide you with a declaration page which is a part of your annual policy contract.

The declaration page is usually the first page and is an outline of your flood insurance policy that provides the information you’ll need at the time of a loss.

Each year when you receive this packet, please make sure to confirm that your policy information is accurate and up to date. Contact your insurance company or agent if any changes are required. This will help to ensure that you have the coverage you need in the event of a flood. By keeping your policy up to date, you can help to protect yourself and your property from the devastating effects of flooding.

Your declaration page provides some or all of the following information:

  • Your policy number
  • Policy term
  • Billing details
  • Insurance company and agent contact information
  • Insured property information
  • Policyholder information
  • Coverage information

What Does Flood Insurance Cover?

The following provides a general overview of items covered by your flood insurance policy; it is not a comprehensive list. Review your policy for complete coverage and exclusion information.

What is covered by flood insurance?

  • The insured building and its foundation
  • The electrical systems
  • Central air-conditioning equipment, furnaces, and water heaters
  • Refrigerators, cooking stoves, and built-in appliances such as dishwashers
  • Permanently installed carpeting over an unfinished floor
  • Permanently installed paneling, wallboard, bookcases, and cabinets
  • Window blinds
  • Debris removal

What is not covered by flood insurance?

Your policy lists specific coverage exclusions and limitations. Please refer to your policy for the complete list.

Examples of uncovered or excluded losses:

  • Damage caused by moisture, mildew, or mold that could have been avoided by the property owner
  • Additional living expenses such as temporary housing
  • Most self-propelled vehicles such as cars, including their parts
  • Property and belongings outside of a building such as trees, plants, shrubs, wells, septic systems, walks, decks, patios, fences, seawalls, hot tubs, and swimming pools
  • Financial losses caused by business interruption or loss of use of insured property
  • Any damage caused by water flow beneath the earth’s surface (review the exclusions section in your flood insurance policy for specific information on damage caused by seepage or drain or sewer backup)
  • The cost of complying with any ordinance of law requiring or regulating the construction, demolition, remodeling, renovation, or repair of property, including removal of any resulting debris

What to do after a flood

Anywhere it can rain, it can flood. After experiencing a flood, you should report your loss immediately to your insurance company or agent.

How to File a Flood Insurance Claim

Report your loss immediately to your insurance agent or to the carrier’s claims office and ask them about an advance payment. Then, prepare for your flood insurance adjuster visit.

Step 1

Compile invoices from appliance repairs with appliance serial numbers included.

Step 2

Obtain and provide receipts to verify repairs that were made following any prior flood loss.

Step 3

Separate damaged and undamaged property.

Step 4

Make a list of all damaged belongings if you have contents coverage.

Step 5

Take pictures or videos of damaged property before removing from the location.

How a Flood Claim is Paid

Replacement Cost Value (RCV) is the cost to rebuild a
structure using the same kind of material and construction without a deduction for depreciation. Actual Cash Value (ACV) is the cost to replace insured property less the value of physical depreciation.

If you make a claim and your building coverage is within 80% of the replacement cost of your home, and your home is your principal residence, your claim will be settled based on replacement cost (up to the amount of coverage you purchased). Claims for personal property (contents coverage) are always paid based on ACV. It is important to keep this in mind when determining the amount of coverage to purchase. Talk to your insurance agent about RCV and ACV.

How to Prevent Future Losses

Most NFIP policies include Increased Cost of Compliance (ICC) coverage, which applies when flood damage is severe. If your community declares your home “substantially damaged” or a “repetitive loss property,” you will be required to bring your home up to current community standards. If your damaged building qualifies for ICC coverage, you could receive up to $30,000 to cover the cost to elevate, demolish, or relocate your home. Please refer to Coverage D of your policy and discuss with your insurance agent for further details.