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What Is Flood?
What exactly constitutes a flood? It has been referred to as "Rising Water", "Tidal Surge" "Rapid Collection of Water" etc., but what is the official definition of "Flood". Some may think that if there is a "water-line" where the water has risen up, it is flood. Thoughts along these lines aren't necessarily correct.

Most carriers writing flood coverage for personal lines exposures utilize the Standard Flood Insurance Policy - Dwelling Form which is provided as part of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP). The definition of flood is outlined in this policy as:

"1. 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 from:

a. Overflow of inland or tidal waters;

b. Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source;

c. Mudflow

2. 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 in A.1.a. above."

A key area of this definition is where it states that, if less than two acres are flooded, then there must be at least two or more properties involved.

With that in mind let's look at an example that probably would notbe covered by a flood insurance policy.

* You have a landscaping company build flower beds around your house and due to the lack of proper design and/or installation, rain water accumulates in one of the flower beds and rises up into your home.

Since it would take two or more acres or two or more properties to meet the definition of a "flood" event, this scenario would not qualify and probably wouldn't be covered under a standard flood policy.

Also, the standard homeowner's policy, typically, doesn't cover this type of damage.

In cases such as this you would, most likely, want to seek payment for damages from the party responsible for the faulty installation. This exposure should be covered by the landscaper's general liability policy, provided they have one.

While this is one example of the few times a flood policy will not benefit a property owner, and should be noted, there are many more cases where it would save them from potential ruin. It is obvious that the positive aspects of purchasing flood insurance far exceed the negative. Actuarial information from the NFIP consistently indicates that, at least, 30% of paid flood losses occur in areas not typically prone to flooding. The damages as a result of even a small amount of water entering your home or business could add up to thousands of dollars in repair cost.

Statistics show that, on average, the largest investment we will make is the purchase of a home. Flood insurance is a coverage that is typically perceived as unnecessary, that is, until the unlikely event occurs. In view of how inexpensive the premiums are for flood insurance, it seems almost reckless to decide not to purchase it.

We welcome any questions you may have regarding the above information. You can contact me at 281.570.2000 or visit our website at

This article was provided for informational purposes only and should not be considered in any way as legal advice.
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