Antonio Mendoza February 11, 2020

What flood insurance covers and does not cover

The end of the winter season can inspire you to clean your house thoroughly, speed up your exercise routine and start working on your lawn and garden. It is also a good time to buy flood insurance.

Even if you do not live in an area prone to flooding, you could find some areas of your house flooded due to heavy rains that cause overflows of lakes, reservoirs, rivers and/or ponds. Approximately 20% of the claims through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), come from homeowners and tenants in areas with low or moderate risk of flooding.

Flood insurance is the only coverage that will compensate you for floods caused by weather and other external forces. Homeowners insurance does not. NFIP flood insurance, the most popular coverage, begins 30 days after its acquisition. So now is the time to buy it.

Still, flood policies do not cover everything in your home. Here is a summary of what is and is not covered, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the NFIP administrator.

What is covered

Essential systems in the home.

This includes electrical and plumbing systems, ovens, water heaters, central air conditioners, heat pumps and sump pumps. It also includes tanks and water in them.


Refrigerators, stoves, and custom-built appliances such as dishwashers, washers and dryers are generally covered, also the portable window air conditioners and freezers and food in them

Carpet and window treatments

If you have permanently installed carpets on an unfinished floor, or any other type of carpets on wooden floors, the insurance must cover them. The policy should also include blinds and curtains.


Wall panels, shelves, libraries and cabinets installed permanently. If you have to replace the cabinets, the policy will pay only for the damaged ones. That means that if some cabinets were ruined but others were not affected, you may have trouble getting cabinets that match the older ones.

Foundation walls, anchoring systems and stairs connected to the home There is exclusion for “the loss caused directly by the movement of the earth, even if the movement of the earth is caused by a flood.”

A separate garage used for storage or limited parking. You can use up to 10% of the total coverage of the home as a garage, but that amount will be subtracted from the total amount of construction coverage available to you.

Personal property, this includes:

• Clothing
• Furniture
• Electronic equipment

Certain valuables

Your policy is likely to cover items such as original artwork and skins, up to $ 2,500 in value.

Other coverage

Some events are covered even if they are not strictly floods, such as groundwater leaks and landslides. This would include the flooding due to a neighbor’s pool overflowing, causing water to come into your home, or a break in the water pipe that damages your home and maybe others in the neighborhood. However, damage caused by a sewer overflow is covered only if it is a direct result of a flood.

What is not covered

Flood insurance has eligibility requirements and numerous exclusions. For example, furniture or other personal property in a detached area, including shelves, curtains, carpets, TV, and audio systems.

Federal flood insurance coverage also has a cap of $ 250,000 per building and $100,000 per content, although you can buy policies with lower limits.

There are separate deductibles for your home and content. Higher coverage limits are available for non-residential content and structure policies. Check here for more FEMA details.

How to buy flood insurance

You can buy national flood insurance directly from the National Flood Insurance Program, as well as through Rafail Insurance. Check with us for more details.

People who live in areas of low and moderate risk and who buy federal flood insurance pay the standard premiums established by FEMA. Those rates are the same regardless of where you buy your coverage.

To obtain an annual premium calculation and a link to Agents selling federal flood insurance, go to the Flood Map Service Center (FEMA), enter your home address and click on “Interactive Map.” This will take you to the official flood classification map of your area.

If you are in a high-risk area, your premium is likely to increase. According to FEMA, there are many variables that affect the price, including the age and construction of the house, its proximity to the water, the elevation of the house and the value of the house.

Tenants can also obtain flood insurance. That can be particularly valuable if you live in an apartment on the first floor or basement. As a tenant, you have the right to buy coverage only for the content of your apartment or house. You are entitled to the same maximum coverage limit on the same items as the owners: $ 100,000 for the content of your home. Check the details of FEMA here.

Private flood insurance

Increasingly, private insurers like Rafail Insurance offer flood coverage. The policies complement federal flood insurance by providing higher coverage limits or replacing it as the owner’s primary flood policy. We offer it as optional in the coverage of their owners.

Depending on your situation, you may find that private flood insurance has lower premiums than the federal policy. Or it may require less additional costs. For example, in about 20% of cases, the government will require a professional to go to the home to write a “certificate of elevation” to determine the insurance rate. The homeowner pays that cost.

In addition, private coverage can cover living expenses if you have to move while your house is being cleaned after a flood. That is something that federal flood insurance will not provide.

Need Flood Insurance Coverage?

Contact our experienced flood insurance agents at 713-429-1790. Get in touch with us immediately so we can recommend the right coverage for your home or business.

We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. You can also fill out a form by clicking here.