What is a flood?
According to the 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 (at least one of which is the policyholder's property) from:
- Overflow of inland or tidal waters
- Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source
- 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.
While you might describe other situations as a flood – for example, if a pipe bursts in your basement and the room is filled with water – this technically doesn’t meet the NFIP guidelines.
Standard home insurance policies don’t include coverage for flood damage. You’ll need to purchase flood insurance as a separate policy through the NFIP. Even if you don’t live in a high-risk flood zone, it’s a beneficial coverage to have, since it can cover your home and personal belongings.
You can get coverage for up to $250,000 for residential buildings and $100,000 for personal property (also known as contents coverage). This contents coverage is available on an actual cash value basis. Some coverages are not available as part of a flood policy, and we can help explain the policy details.
There can be a 30-day waiting period before a flood policy goes into effect. Some exceptions are allowed, such as when you’re purchasing a home, but it’s best to not wait to purchase coverage until weather reports predict flooding in your area.
Amica can help you secure flood insurance through the NFIP. We can answer questions about the policy, determine the coverage that’s right for you and work closely with the NFIP to get the protection you need.