What to know & what's covered when buying flood insurance, according to FEMA

Posted at 12:28 PM, May 01, 2019
and last updated 2020-01-09 11:39:59-05

(WXYZ) — There's a potential for flooding across metro Detroit this weekend as our forecast has more than 3 inches of rain possible in some areas.


In an effort to keep people informed and to get them what to know, we have some tips from FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program about what to know before buying flood insurance and what's covered.

According to FEMA, these are questions you should ask your agent about flood insurance.

  • Does my community participate in the National Flood Insurance Program?
  • What flood zone do I live in and what is my property's flood risk?
  • How long does it take for my policy to go into effect?
  • Is flood insurance mandatory for my property?
  • What will and won't be covered?
  • Will the federal government buy back my flood insurance policy?

Read more questions to ask by clicking here.

Here's what FEMA says to know what's covered in your flood insurance.

"Talk to your licensed insurance agent about what is and isn’t covered by your policy. Know what is and is not covered. Contents are not covered by a building/structure flood policy. To cover your belongings or contents within a building, you'll need to add contents coverage to your existing building/structure policy," the website reads.

They also say the cause of flooding matters, and contents and building coverage are purchased separate.

Here's what FEMA says:

Examples of Building Coverage

  • The electrical and plumbing systems
  • Furnaces, water heaters, heat pumps and sump pumps
  • Refrigerators, cooking stoves and built-in appliances such as dishwashers
  • Permanently installed carpeting over an unfinished floor
  • Permanently installed paneling, wallboard, bookcases and cabinets. The damage must be directly caused by flood water. Cabinets that were not damaged by flood water are not covered, even if they match cabinets that were damaged by flood water.
  • Window blinds
  • Foundation walls, anchorage systems and staircases attached to the building. There is an exclusion for “loss caused directly by earth movement even if the earth movement is caused by flood.”
  • A detached garage used for limited storage or parking. Up to 10 percent of the building coverage limit can be used, but will reduce the total amount of building coverage available.
  • Cisterns and the water in them
  • Fuel tanks and the fuel in them, solar energy equipment and well water tanks and pumps

Examples of Contents Coverage

  • Personal belongings such as clothing, furniture and electronic equipment
  • Curtains
  • Portable and window air conditioners (easily moved or relocated)
  • Portable microwave ovens and portable dishwashers
  • Carpets not included in building coverage (carpet installed over wood floors, etc.)
  • Laundry washers and dryers
  • Certain valuable items such as original artwork and furs (up to $2,500)
  • Food freezers and the food in them (but not refrigerators)