Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Storm Flooding?

WRITTEN BY: Mark Romero


Your first concern with storm-related flooding is personal safety. Almost as many people die from flooding every year as hurricanes, tornadoes, and lightning combined. More people drown while in their vehicle than anyplace else. The second concern is if your homeowners insurance will cover flooding

How Insurance Coverage for Storm Flooding Works

As far as your home is concerned, the operative word in storm-related flooding is flooding. 

Floods caused by weather or other external water sources are generally not covered by homeowners insurance. You need a separate flood insurance policy to cover the damages. However, that does not mean that water damage caused by a storm is not covered.

About Flood Insurance for Homeowners

Flooding — be it by rivers overflowing, levee failures, tidal surges, or massive rains that flood an area — is only covered by insurance if you have a policy with the government’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP).

These are federal policies, but you can purchase them from almost any insurance company. Other than the NFIP, one option covers flooding caused by an outside sewer or drainage line.

You may be eligible to purchase water backup coverage that can help with damages from that kind of flooding event. Consult with your insurance agent.

Flooding is widely defined as water rising. For example, rain by itself is not flooding. The pooling and accumulation of rainwater on the ground is. So, storm-related flooding would only be covered by an NFIP policy. 

Understanding Your Perils

Your homeowners policy insures you against loss from certain threats or perils. The policies are written as named perils where each risk is named, or an all-peril that lists what is not covered or a combination.

The time to understand your perils is before you need to file a claim, not afterward. Insurance policies are difficult to read and understand, so you must review your policy with the assistance of your agent.

Water damage from rain is covered in some circumstances

For example, your policy will exclude damages from flooding. But if a storm rips part of your roof off, or a tree is blown over, crashing through a window, and rain is driven in, creating water damage, you will most likely be covered. In this instance, the covered asset is the dwelling, and the covered peril is wind damage.

Which makes determining what is covered and what is not sort of malleable depending on how you can mix and match covered items to covered perils. 

When the immediate flood danger passes, your first call should be to your insurance agent. Not only will you figure out if you have coverage, but your agent will be a great resource for recommending restoration services.

Availability of Flood Insurance

Sometimes, you will be required to purchase an NFIP policy to cover flooding. Mortgage lenders loaning on homes situated on a floodplain are required by law to require NFIP coverage.

The NFIP program enables property owners in participating communities to purchase flood insurance. Insurance that the government administers against losses from flooding.

The Act created the NFIP flood insurance for all loans or lines of credit secured by existing buildings, manufactured homes, or buildings under construction located in a community that participates in the NFIP.

If a flood hits and your car suffers water damage, you’re protected if you have comprehensive coverage on your auto policy. If you have a mobile or manufactured home, your homeowners policy may include coverage for flooding.

How to Get Homeowners Insurance Coverage for Flooding

If a storm damages your home, your homeowners insurance policy should cover the damages. However, if your home is damaged by flooding from an external water source, you will need a separate flood insurance policy to cover the damages. You can get quotes for both types of policies by giving us a call at the number above or using our online policy shopping tool.