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5 Things Your Flood Insurance Policy Does Not Cover

Man worried about flood waters rising in his basement
Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock.com

When floodwaters rise, don’t look to your homeowners insurance policy to protect you. Such insurance does not cover damage from floods.

To get protection, you need to purchase a policy from the National Flood Insurance Program of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). But even with this coverage, there are some key gaps that could leave you unprotected for specific types of damage.

Here are things your flood insurance policy does not cover.

1. Some damage to your basement

Flooding in a basement
cunaplus / Shutterstock.com

Some elements of your basement fall under the protection of your flood insurance policy. But many others do not.

Items not covered include:

  • Personal property, such as couches and televisions
  • Improvements to your basement, such as flooring, finished walls and bathroom fixtures
  • Generators and other items like them
  • Dehumidifiers, unless they are a built-in part of the heating and air conditioning system

2. Mold and mildew

Close-up Of Person Hand Wearing Gloves Measuring Wetness Of A Moldy Wall
Andrey_Popov / Shutterstock.com

After a flood event, it’s important to act fast to prevent the growth of mold and mildew. A quick cleanup is doubly important because flood insurance does not cover damage from mold.

Unfortunately, that means the cost of cleaning up the area will come out of your pocket. If you don’t pay up and do the work quickly, the damage might get worse — and more expensive to fix.

On rare occasions, mold and mildew damage might fall under your policy’s coverage. This is typically true if an authorized official prevents you from entering the area around your home, or if flood waters make such a visit impossible.

3. Some valuable items

Flooded living room
Robert Kneschke / Shutterstock.com

Flood insurance includes coverage for your personal belongings. However, some valuable items — such as artwork or furs — is only covered up to $2,500. If you have high-value items, this can leave a big hole in your coverage.

It is also important to note that with flood insurance, you must purchase contents coverage and building coverage separately. Each type of coverage has a separate deductible as well. If you do not purchase contents coverage, none of your valuables will be covered.

4. Landscaping and belongings outside the structure

Flooded home
Tony Campbell / Shutterstock.com

If a flood rolls over your property and destroys trees, decks, fences and pools, don’t expect flood insurance to ride to the rescue.

Items outside the insured structure itself do not fall under the protection of a flood insurance policy.

5. Vehicles

michelmond / Shutterstock.com

Finally, flood insurance will not reimburse damage to or the loss of your vehicles.

Fortunately, your auto insurance policy will pick up the tab — but only if you carry comprehensive insurance. Also, you will have to pay the deductible on your car insurance policy. That is in addition to the separate deductibles attached to both your structure and contents coverage in your flood insurance policy.

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