Does Home Insurance Cover Rainstorm Flooding?

WRITTEN BY: Mark Romero


If you remember Hurricane Katrina or Hurricane Harvey, you know how devastating flooding can be. But do you know how to prepare for flooding and to protect your home? And do you have the correct insurance to help you pay for any damages? This article will discuss flooding risks, ways to protect your home, and insurance coverage. 

Are You At Risk of Rainstorm Flooding?

Rainstorm flooding can occur during a hurricane and any prolonged rainstorm. Not every home will have the same risk of flooding. The area’s topography largely determines to flood and whether your property is near sea level. Coastal areas are at the greatest risk of flooding. However, inland areas can also flood, especially near rivers. 

When you purchase your home, it should have been disclosed whether the property is in a flood zone. However, the construction and clearing of trees can change the water flow and create new flood zones. If you’re unsure if you’re in a flood zone, you can check your area’s FEMA flood zone map

This is also the information insurance companies use to determine flooding risk and coverage. According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association (NOAA), flooding is one of the costliest weather disasters in the United States. 

What Can You Do to Protect Your Home From Rainstorm Flooding?

Check the Building Codes

Reducing some of the risks of flooding can start with construction. New homes built in flood zones are usually required to be built on structural stilts or fill dirt.

Many local city and county codes in low-lying areas will likely require new construction to be built to minimize flooding.

If your home is not newly constructed and you live in a flood zone, there are other things you can do to protect your home from flooding. 

Check the Wiring in Your Home

All your in-home electrical systems should be raised at least a foot above the expected flood level. This means all sockets, switches, circuit breakers, and wiring. You can also modify indoor equipment such as the furnace and water heater by anchoring them above the flood line.

Any outdoor equipment, such as air conditioning units, generators, and fuel tanks, should also be anchored to prevent being washed away. A broken fuel line can contaminate the ground.

It’s also recommended that you install an interior or exterior backflow valve because flooding can cause sewage backups into your home. 

Watch For Places Where Water Pools on Your Property

Knowing how water flows around your home can also help you protect it from flooding. A properly built home will be constructed so that water flows away from the house. If you notice that water pools in your yard during a rainstorm, you may be able to contact your county for assistance in redirecting water. 

Some more expensive measures can include the installation of foundation vents that allow water to flow under and out of your home instead of rising into your home. Other flood-proof protections can include the application of sealants to your walls to keep water out. 

Maintainance and Last-Minute Preparations

If you have done all you can to prevent rain storm flooding and a storm is approaching, keep your gutters and downspouts clear to allow as much rain as possible a clear path away from your home. 

If you need to evacuate your home, turn off the electricity and put furniture, rugs, and electronic equipment on the second floor or above the flood line. 

You can also use sandbags, usually available locally during impending storms, to place in front of doors to reduce water flow into those openings. 

Most Homeowners Insurance Won’t Cover Flood Damage

Despite all your preparations and preventative measures, you still might have to face the aftermath of rainstorm flooding. If you have damages from flooding, you will want to make repairs and be reimbursed by your insurance company. Unfortunately, it’s not that simple when it comes to rainstorm flooding. 

Most homeowner’s insurance policies specifically exclude coverage for flooding from rainstorms and hurricanes. 

This seems contradictory because this same policy usually includes wind damage coverage for storms and hurricanes. However, the flood damage caused by these storms is not usually covered. This is important to know before a storm comes. 

If You Don’t Have Flood Insurance, You’re Not Protected

If you’re in a flood zone and carry a mortgage, your mortgage company may require you to purchase flood insurance. This is a separate insurance policy with separate premiums. FEMA backs these insurance policies through the National Flood Insurance Program. Your policy may have the name of a national insurance company, but the money comes from the government. 

Any homeowner can purchase additional flood insurance, whether required or not. 

Knowing these policies will need to be purchased before an impending storm is important. Generally, once there is a named hurricane, it’s too late to buy flood insurance that would protect you. 

If you have flood insurance and your home is damaged by rainstorm flooding, you can file a claim against the flood insurer and your homeowners policy. This is particularly important in the case of hurricanes.

You may have wind damage and flood damage. Both policies will cover those damages separately. If you want to maximize recovery in these situations, it would be advisable to file two claims.

Rainstorm flooding can cause untold devastation. Don’t let a lack of preparation leave you underwater.

How To Get Insurance Coverage for Rainstorm Flooding

If a major flooding event happens in your area, it’s important to be prepared. Follow the tips we’ve provided to help you protect your home and possessions from flood damage. And don’t forget to get flood insurance.

It’s one of the most important steps to ensure you’re financially protected if a major flooding event occurs. Get quotes online now so that you have time to review them and find the best policy for your needs.