Residential Flood Insurance – What’s Covered In The Event Of Flooding

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Residential Flood Insurance – What’s Covered In The Event of Flooding

As you’ve been clicking and searching around this site (well, I hope you have anyway, I’ve put a lot of effort into this for you) you’ll have seen lots of information about residential flood insurance, how you need it, how much it might cost you and why it’s so important. Well, on this page we’re going to get right down to the “nitty gritty” of the matter . . . what’s covered and maybe more importantly . . . what isn’t!

Residential Flood Insurance policies are often separated into two different bits . . . the building . . . and the contents.  Let’s take a closer look:-

Personal Property Flood Insurance – What’s Covered

  • All of your personal bits and pieces are covered – clothes, electronic equipment (TV / Games Console / Music Center), shoes, furniture etc. etc.
  • Freezers including the food that’s in them. Think about it, it can cost a lot to stock up the freezer, even for a week or two, and it doesn’t take very long before all of the ice-cream has melted and the steaks have defrosted and gone a funny color with a very peculiar smell (that’s if they haven’t floated away altogether).
  • Air conditioners – the window type ones, and the portable ones, you know, the ones which aren’t actually part of the building.
  • Washers, dryers, portable dishwashers (that’s the hubby covered then!), portable microwave ovens.
  • Carpets – now then, some of these will be included under the buildings section (I’ll get to that in a minute), but any which aren’t covered in that part will be covered in this.
  • Drapes and curtains – some of these are remarkably expensive you know and only suitable for dry cleaning!
  • Other extra valuable bits and pieces, fur coats, jewelery, the odd work of art, well, up to around $2,500 anyway, so if you’ve a Picasso hidden away in the spare room wardrobe you might want to think about extra cover for it.

Building Property Flood Insurance – What’s Covered 

This is of particular interest to home owners, (renters will probably only need the above), but if you actually own your home then you’ve got to insure the actual building too, as well as all that is in it.

  • The actual “bricks and mortar” of the building, even if it’s made of wood! Oh, and the foundations and stuff too!
  • Any built in appliances like cooking stoves, refrigerators, dishwashers etc (don’t worry, appliances which aren’t built in can be covered under your personal property, but then again, if you’ve been reading this page properly you’ll already know that).
  • Plumbing and electrical systems.
  • Furnaces, water heaters, built in air con units etc. etc.
  • Fitted carpets (the ones which are tacked down over rough flooring).
  • Any other “permanent features” like built in cupboards, wardrobes, book cases, panelling etc.
  • Your detached garage (this is permitted to have up to 10% of the cover), but any other detached buildings (I’m thinking games room, pool house, house at the bottom of the yard for when granny visits) will need to have a separate flood insurance policy.
  • The cost of removing all that debris – floods don’t just happen with nice clean water you know, it’s generally more like a muddy sludge which brings with it everything and anything it has swallowed en route to your poor unsuspecting home.

Okay, that’s about covered everything that’s covered, not let’s take a very important look at what’s not covered with residential flood insurance.

What’s NOT Covered In The Event of Flooding

  • Outside stuff – trees, plants, patios, decking, fences, swimming pools, hot tubs, septic tanks (well, your swimming pool could very probably resemble a septic tank after a flood) and all that kind of stuff.
  • Temporary housing and other living expenses . . . it can take a while to get everything back to normal you know so you might need to make separate provision for that, or just go and stay with the in-laws, they’ll be happy to see you I’m sure . . . On second thoughts, make some enquiries about extra cover!
  • Cash, valuable papers (stock certificates etc), precious metals etc. etc.
  • Financial losses incurred, well, if the insured property was essential for your business and you can’t do any business because of a flood . . . you’re not covered for that.
  • Vehicles aren’t generally covered either . . . cars, motorboats, RV’s, quad bikes, motorbikes . . .
  • Any “moisture” induced damage . . . mold, mildew etc, which could have been prevented by the owner. You know you should have cleaned it sooner and ventilated the area, it’s no good trying to make a claim on that one lazy bones.

Now just before you thought that everything has been covered, there’s one other area of property which has limited residential flood insurance cover . . . can you guess what it is?  Go on, I’ll give you another minute . . . . that’s right, it’s areas which are below the lowest elevated floor (that’s the posh way of putting it). Where does it really mean:

  • Basements – oh yes, makes sense I suppose.
  • Crawlspaces under elevated buildings (it’s a really good idea to elevate your building in some circumstances, we might talk about that on another page).

In fact, any of  the deepest, darkest depths below your building, whether it’s enclosed or not. You’re gonna need to check out with your agent about the possibility of residential flood insurance for those bits.

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