Not Included: What Isn’t Covered by Flood Insurance?

May 2, 2019

Flood insurance is not just for those who live in a flood zone.

As mother nature continues to cause strange and unexpected natural disasters, being prepared is more important than ever.

Flood insurance can help you stay afloat, no pun intended, and rebuild after a flood strikes. However, flood insurance doesn’t cover everything.

Being a responsible property owner means having the necessary insurance in place to protect yourself and your belongings. Having gaps in coverage or failing to understand the coverage you have can be devastating should a loss occur.

It’s important to know what is covered by flood insurance and what is not to ensure you are prepared. Your insurance agent should work with you to explain your policy coverages and deductibles, but if you are still considering purchasing coverage, we’re here to help.

Keep reading to learn more about flood insurance and what a flood insurance policy will cover for you.

Do You Need Flood Insurance?

Flood insurance is required to be purchased by those living in designed flood zones.

These are areas that are prone to flooding and where flooding is reasonably expected to occur. Flood insurance is offered through the National Flood Insurance Program and premiums average around $700 per year.

If you are living in a flood zone, purchasing flood insurance probably isn’t going to be a choice. However, for those that are not living in a designated flood zone and required to purchase flood insurance, purchasing a policy might still be a good idea.

You might be thinking that you already hold a homeowner’s insurance policy. If you aren’t familiar with your policy, you might not know that flooding is usually excluded from homeowner’s policies.

Your homeowner’s policy likely contains a flood exclusion endorsement. This is because you have the option of purchasing an additional policy to cover damage from flooding.

The Cost of Flood Damage

Flooding is not only the most common natural disaster that can affect a home but it is also the most expensive.

One inch of water in your business or home can cause $27,000 in damage. The premium for flood insurance certainly pales in comparison to a figure like this.

And this is only for one inch of water. Flooding can cause much more costly damage.

What is Covered by Flood Insurance

So what is covered by flood insurance, exactly?

Your Home’s Essential Systems

A flood insurance policy will cover the essential systems in your home such as plumbing, electrical systems, water heaters, central air conditioning, sump pumps, and heat pumps.

Also covered are cisterns and the water contained in them, fuel and fuel tanks, water tanks, pumps, and solar energy equipment.


Your appliances will also be covered by your flood insurance policy.

Appliances include dishwashers, washing machines, refrigerators, ranges, and dryers. Window air conditioners, freezers, and the food in your freezer are covered too.

Carpeting/Window Treatments

Carpeting covered includes permanently installed carpets over unfinished floors and any other carpeting installed over wooden floors.

Also covered are blinds and curtains for your windows.

Cabinets, Bookcases, Paneling, and Wallboards

Coverage applies to these features that are permanently installed. However, coverage will only apply to the parts that were damaged.

For example, if only one cabinet in a set was damaged, the policy will not pay to replace all of the cabinets.

Personal Property and Valuables

Personal property is covered by flood insurance so long as it is not stored in the basement.

Personal property includes furniture, electronics, and clothing. Valuables such as art and furs are covered up to a certain amount, usually $2,500.

Detached Garages

Detached garages that are used for limited storage or parking will be covered at up to 10 percent of your total building coverage. This will lessen the amount of your total building coverage, however.


Foundation walls, staircases, and anchorage systems are covered so long as the loss is not caused by earth movement as a result of the flood.

What’s Not Covered

Flood insurance does come with exclusions.

Federal flood insurance has a maximum coverage limit of $250,000 per building and $100,000 for contents. It is possible to purchase less coverage than this, however.

Property that is not residential can purchase higher limits.

It’s also worth noting that separate deductibles apply for building and contents coverage. There are eligibility requirements to purchase flood insurance as well.

Some of the commonly excluded losses include:

  • Damage from mold, moisture, or mildew that was not caused by the flood
  • Any damage caused by the movement of the earth, even if the movement of the earth was caused by the flood
  • Additionally incurred living expenses while the property cannot be occupied such as temporary housing expenses
  • Loss of use┬ácosts
  • Financial loss caused by business interruption
  • Currency, valuable papers, and precious metals
  • Any property or belongings outside of the insured building
  • Self-propelled vehicles, including cars, and their parts

It’s also important to remember that there is usually a 30 day waiting period for coverage to begin after you purchase a policy.

Talk to Your Agent Today

Now that you know a little more about what is covered by flood insurance and what is excluded you should contact your agent for a quote.

While there are some exclusions to coverage for flood insurance, the covered losses are well worth the premium. Flood damage can be costly and devastating and being prepared with a flood insurance policy can make all the difference for your home or business.

Contact us today for a quote.


**This blog provides a brief overview of the terms and phrases used within the insurance industry. These definitions are not applicable in all states or for all insurance and financial products. This is not an insurance contract. Other terms, conditions and exclusions apply. Please read your official policy for full details about coverage. These definitions do not alter or modify the terms of any insurance contract.