Flood Insurance Explained

Our weather has been so erratic lately, there is no telling what to expect in the months ahead. Did you know that Surface water coming into your home is not covered by a homeowners policy.  If you suffer damage from water that enters at the ground level, you need have flood coverage to be covered.  The damage caused by flood water to your basement and upper floors can be significant, but the subsequent mold damage if not repaired quickly can be downright life threatening to you and your family.  No like likes to be told, “I’m sorry, that’s not covered under your homeowners policy”  So don’t let that happen to you!  

Most people don’t realize that flood insurance is a separate policy designed to protect your home or belongings if they are damaged in a flood.  

We know it can be confusing to try to determine what policies best fit your needs. That’s why Doherty Insurance has answered a few commonly asked questions where flood insurance is involved.

What is considered a flood?

According to the National Flood Insurance Program, a flood is defined as:

  • A general and temporary condition of two or more acres of normally dry land covered in water that is caused by:

    • Overflow of inland or tidal waves.

    • An unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters.

If these conditions exist, the National Flood Insurance program has to declare the condition a flood for coverage to apply through their program. 

Who can purchase flood insurance?

If your community participates in the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP), you can buy flood insurance regardless of where your property is located, whether it is in a high or low flood risk area. Flood insurance policies can be purchased through local insurance agents, like Doherty Insurance, by homeowners, business owners, and renters who want to protect their homes, buildings, and belongings.

What does flood insurance cover?

It is important to know that when purchasing flood insurance prior to any tropical storms, there are two types of coverage that may fit your needs. You can choose to protect your home, personal belongings, or both, depending on the coverage you are interested in. 

Here are some basics on the two types of coverage:

  • Building Property Coverage: covers the physical structure of your home and its foundation; plumbing and electrical systems; central air and heating systems; bookcases, cabinets, paneling; a detached garage.

  • Personal Contents Coverage: covers clothing, furniture, electronics; curtains; some portable appliances; freezers; certain valuables.

What’s not covered by flood insurance?

Though flood insurance covers some property and belonging damage after an unexpected disaster, it’s important to note that flood insurance doesn’t cover some expenses. Here are a few examples of types of property and expenses that are not covered by basic flood insurance policies:

  • Moisture or mold/mildew damage that could have been avoided by the owner

  • Currency, precious metals (gold, silver, etc.), and paper valuables (stocks, etc.)

  • Outdoor property such as decks, fences, patios, landscaping, wells and septic systems, pools, and hot tubs

  • Living expenses, such as a temporary housing situation if flood damage deems your home uninhabitable

  • Cars and other self-propelled vehicles

How do I purchase flood insurance?

Call us at Doherty Insurance (1-800-Doherty) to purchase a flood insurance policy.  

It’s also important to remember that a flood isn’t the only potential water source that may damage a home. That’s why you should also review the coverages offered within your homeowners insurance policy.

Armed with knowledge and whether flood insurance coverage is right for you, you’ll go a long way to protect your home and belongings - and at Doherty Insurance we are here to help.


Doherty Insurance Agency
21 Elm Street
Andover, MA. 01810
Telephone: 978-475-0260
Fax: 978-475-0303