FEMA Flood Insurance

Pursuant to FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), a flood is defined as a general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or of two or more properties from 1) an overflow of inland or tidal waters; 2) unusual rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source; 3) mudflow; or 4) collapse or subsistence 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.

There are two types of flood insurance coverage under FEMA’s NFIP. Coverage is offered for 1) building property, up to $250,000, and 2) personal property (contents), up to $100,000. A standard flood insurance policy is a single-peril (flood) policy that will pay for direct physical damage to the insured’s property up to the replacement cost or actual cash value of the actual damages or the policy limit of liability, whichever is less.  However, contents coverage must be purchased separately.

Generally, physical damage to your building or personal property directly caused by a flood is covered under the NFIP. Building property covered under the NFIP includes: the building and its foundation, electrical and plumbing systems, central air conditioning equipment, furnaces, water heaters, refrigerators, cooking stoves, built in appliances such as dishwashers, permanently installed carpet over unfinished floors, permanently installed paneling, wallboard, bookcases and cabinets, window blinds, detached garages and buildings and debris removal.

Personal property covered under the NFIP includes: personal belongings such as clothing, furniture, electronic equipment, curtains, portable and window air conditioners, portable microwave ovens and portable dishwashers, carpets not included in building coverage, clothes washers and dryers, food freezers and the food contained in them, and certain valuable items such as original artwork and furs (up to $2,500).

Not covered under the NFIP are as follows: damage caused by moisture, mildew, or mold that could have been avoided by the property owner, currency, precious metals and valuable papers such as stock certificates, property and belongings outside of a building such as trees, plants, wells, septic systems, walks, decks, patios, fences, seawalls, hot tubs and swimming pools, living expenses such as temporary housing, financial losses caused by business interruption or loss of use of insured property, and most self-propelled vehicles such as cars, including their parts.

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