What is flood insurance?
People buy flood insurance to insure the place they live, their automobile, and their personal items from damage caused by flood. Flooding is a buildup or an overflow of water that partially covers or submerges land that is usually dry. It is also the most common natural disaster in the United States.
Flood insurance covers things like:
- overflow of inland or tidal water (such as storm surge)
- run off or buildup of surface water (such as flash floods)
- mudflow (such as flowing mud on the surface of normally dry land)
Flood insurance does not cover things like:
- broken pipes
- overflow of plumbing systems
- rain coming into your home through a wall, window, or roof
Residential Property Coverage
Most residential property policies DO NOT cover damage caused by a flood. To protect your home from this type of loss, you need to buy flood coverage. If you live in a special flood hazard area, your mortgage company will require this type of coverage for your home. However, all Texans (even renters) should consider flood insurance.
Texas landscapes are constantly changing due to things like weather and new construction. As a result, you could be at risk for flood now, even if you were not before.
Currently, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) provides most flood insurance policies. Some insurance companies offer their own flood insurance policy or offer this coverage as an endorsement attached to your residential property policy.
average annual cost of a flood insurance policy
average cost of a flood insurance claim
Data from FEMA
National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Policies
This usually covers:
- up to $250,000 for your home, including things like appliances, electrical and plumbing systems, and debris removal.
- up to $100,000 for your personal items, like clothes, TVs, and furniture. These items are also called “contents” or “personal property”.
- up to $30,000 for “increased cost of compliance”, which pays for costs to comply with state and locate regulations for repair and construction of flood damaged properties.
For protection above these limits, you will need to buy the additional coverage elsewhere. See our Shopping Guide for more info.
This does not cover:
- Additional living expenses (ALE)
NFIP flood policies have a 30-day waiting period before coverage takes effect.
Most auto policies DO cover damage caused by a flood IF you buy comprehensive coverage (also known as “other than collision”). If you only have liability insurance, your personal auto policy will not cover flood. To learn more about auto insurance coverages, visit our Auto Basics page.
Other Terms to Know
Claim – a request made to an insurance company to pay for damage or injury.
Coverage – the damage or injuries an insurance company agrees to pay for under the policy.
Deductible – the amount you owe in a loss before the company pays its part.
Policy – a contract between you and the insurance company. The policy tells you what’s covered and what the insurance company is required to pay.
Policy period – the period of time your policy provides coverage.
Premium – the amount you pay an insurance company for your policy.
Surplus lines insurance – insurance meant to cover special risks that most insurers aren’t able or willing to insure.