According to the National Flood Insurance Program (FEMA) a flood is “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 (at least one of which is your property) from: overflow of inland or tidal waters, unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source, mudflow or 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.”

A flood is considered to be any body of water that rises due to excessive rain. No standard homeowner's insurance policy offers coverage for floods; a flood policy must be purchased separately. Most agencies offer flood policies, which are available through the federal government’s flood program.

Some insurance companies offer an endorsement that covers sump pump failure, with coverage generally ranging between $1,000 and $25,000. However, this endorsement covers damage from a failed sump pump and not from a flood. If water rises above your foundation and your sump pump fails, you have coverage under this endorsement. If you do not own a sump pump, then it is considered a flood and you are not covered. If your sump pump simply cannot keep up with the flood, then the insurance company can still decline coverage because the damage was still caused by the flood.

Many consumers never purchase flood insurance because they do not live in a flood zone. However, floods happen outside of flood zones every day. Consumers living outside common flood areas need flood insurance just as much as the people living inside of them. Just because the likelihood of a flood is less does not mean it will never happen. Floods happen anywhere and everywhere, and all insured people should be prepared.

Average flood loss is around $35,000. That loss can be avoided with a flood policy that costs about $400 a year. If you are interested in flood insurance, please contact me or call me directly at 616-723-8025.

The information provided here relates to general situations and questions concerning specific risks and may not apply to all situations or individual circumstances. Flint Insurance does not issue insurance contracts or bind coverage. We do not endorse or recommend any companies or insurance policies, and we do not provide insurance, tax or financial advice.

For more information on flood programs visit: FEMA Website.