Flood Insurance: What is a flood?

In simple terms, a flood is an excess of water on land that is normally dry. The official
definition used by the Nation Flood Insurance Program is “A general and temporary
condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres or 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 of runoff of surface waters from any source.
 Mudflow.*
 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.
*Mudflow is defined as “A river of liquid and flowing mud on the surfaces of normally
dry land areas, as when earth is carried by a current of water…”

What is Covered by Flood Insurance – and what is not?

Generally, physical damage to your building or personal property “directly” caused by a
flood is covered by your flood insurance policy. For example, damages caused by a
sewer backup are covered if the backup is a direct result of flooding. If the backup is
caused by some other problem, the damages are not covered.

What is insured under Building Property coverage?

 The insured building and its foundation.
 The electrical and plumbing 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.
 Detached garages (up to 10% of Building Property coverage). Detached buildings
(other than garages) require a separate Building Property policy.
 Debris removal.

What is insured under Personal Property coverage?

 Personal belongings such as clothing, furniture, and 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 in them.
 Certain valuable items such as original artwork and furs (up to $2,500.)

What is NOT insured by either Building Property or Personal Property

 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.
 Most self-propelled vehicles, such as cars, including their parts.

Flood Insurance Coverage Limitation in areas below the lowest elevated
floor and basements:

Flood insurance coverage is limited in areas below the lowest elevated floor (including
crawlspaces) depending on the flood zone and date of construction and in basements
regardless of zone, or date of construction. See your agent or policy for specific

How Flood Damages Are Valued:

The value of flood damage in the Dwelling Form is based on either Replacement Cost
Value (RCV) or Actual Cash Value (ACV).

Replacement Cost Value:

RCV is the cost to replace that part of a building that is damaged (without depreciation).
To be eligible, three conditions must be met:
1. The building must be a single-family dwelling, and
2. Be your principal residence, meaning you live there at least 80% of the year, and                                                             3. Your Building coverage is at least 80% of the full replacement cost of the building, or is the maximum available for the property under the NFIP.

Actual Cash Value:

  • Actual Cash Value (ACV) is the replacement cost at the time of loss, MINUS the value of the item’s physical depreciation.
  • Some building items such as carpeting are always adjusted on an ADV basis.
  • Personal property is always valued at ACV
  • This information has been obtained from various sources such as FEMA and NFIP and is only meant to provide general information. For specifics, always reference your FLOOD policy and speak with your agent at The Choice Insurance Agency. We’re happy to help!

To Register For FEMA Disaster Assistance:

  • www.DisasterAssistance.gov
  • 1-800-621-FEMA (3362)

The Choice Insurance Agency. We’re on YOUR side. 757-416-5100


The Choice Insurance Agency’s mission is to help you get from where you are to where you want to be financially by planning, achieving your plan and protecting your plan from unexpected events.  In the process, our goal is to deliver insurance services in a manner that exceeds your expectations.  See what The Choice Insurance Agency can do for you today. Give us a call at 757-416-5100 to speak with one of the licensed, professional members of our team or request a contact here. The Choice Insurance Agency. We’re on YOUR side. 757-416-5100 .