What Types of Losses Does Flood Insurance Cover?

••• John Watkin

Flood insurance issued by the United States National Flood Insurance Program covers loss and damage to dwellings and or property caused by a flood. There are different policies for buildings and personal property contained within buildings. A building policy does not cover personal property. It is important to have flood insurance on a home, because a traditional home insurance policy excludes coverage for flood damage.


Flood insurance policies from the National Flood Insurance Program cover losses on the value of a building up to $250,000. The payout limit for personal property, or goods, is $100,000. If your property is valued higher than these limits you will need to seek private flood insurance for the amount over these limits.

Structural Losses

A flood insurance policy covers losses due to flood damage to the walls or foundation of the dwelling. It also covers damage to the electrical system or plumbing, central air and heating systems, major kitchen appliances, water heaters, permanently installed carpets and flooring, permanently installed cabinetry, window blinds and drywall. It also covers detached garages when the value is equal to less than 10 percent of the dwelling coverage. Costs associated with removing debris are covered.

Personal Property Losses

A personal property flood policy covers losses of personal goods such as clothes and furniture, other major appliances not covered under a dwelling policy such as a washer and dryer or microwave, other small household appliances such as fans, electronics and televisions, rugs and carpets that are not installed, food in freezers, and high-value items such as artwork up to a value of $2,500.


Both the building policy and the personal property policy exclude losses for some items. Neither policy will cover money or currencies, gold, platinum or stock certificates. They also exclude cars, other vehicles and goods located outside of the dwelling. Buildings to the exclusion of a detached garage are not covered unless an additional policy is purchased for them. Losses from damage to landscaping, trees and swimming pools are not covered.

Basement and Crawl Space Losses

Basement and crawl space losses are given separate consideration on both policies. Only foundations, staircases, central heat and air units, cisterns, electrical systems, mechanical components such as water pumps and drywall in basements are covered. Property coverage is limited to washer/dryers, freezers and portable air conditioners.

Basement and Crawl Space Exclusions

Losses will not be covered for floor coverings, installed or uninstalled cabinets and cases, refrigerators or any type of personal property in these areas.