What Is a Flood? Flood Insurance – Basic Information
What is a flood?
Here’s how flood is defined by the National Flood Insurance Program: “A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or of two or more properties (at least one of which is the policyholder’s property) from: Overflow of inland or tidal waters; or unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source; or mudflow; or collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or similar body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels that result in a flood as defined above.”
In plain English, a flood is an excess of water (or mud) on land that’s normally dry. Floods often happen when bodies of water overflow or tides rise due to heavy rainfall or thawing snow. But you don’t have to live near water to be at risk of flooding. A flash flood, which can strike anywhere without warning, occurs when a large volume of rain falls within a short time.
More and more buildings, roads and parking lots are being built where forests and meadows used to be, which decreases the land’s natural ability to absorb water. Coupled with changing weather patterns, this construction has made recent floods more severe and increased everyone’s chance of being flooded.
Dangerous or damaging floods don’t always mean dramatic, rushing waters through the streets of your hometown. Just a single inch of water can cause costly damage to your home! Keep this in mind when you’re considering flood insurance.
Hope That You’ll Receive Federal Disaster Relief if a Flood Hits
Many people wrongly believe that the U.S. government will take care of all their financial needs if they suffer damage due to flooding. The truth is that Federal disaster assistance is only available if the President formally declares a disaster. Even if you do get disaster assistance, it’s often a loan you have to repay, with interest, in addition to your mortgage loan that you still owe on the damaged property.
Most importantly, you must consider the fact that if your home is flooded and disaster assistance isn’t offered, you’ll have to shoulder the massive damage costs alone.
The bottom line? If you’re looking for secure protection from financial loss due to flood damage, Federal Disaster assistance is not the answer.
Flood Insurance Facts
- Flooding is the most pervasive and costliest disaster in the US
- Homes in flood prone regions are 26 times more likely to experience a flood rather than a fire over 30 yrs
- One third of all floods occur outside flood hazard areas
- 70 percent of the US population lives within 50 miles of the coastline
- Homeowners insurance does not cover most flood related losses