How Does Flood Insurance Cover Basements?
Unfortunately, a lot of policyholders may not know what their insurance plan includes in the basement area; or more importantly, what’s not included.
FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) defines a basement as any area of a building with a floor that is below the natural ground level on all sides; otherwise, it is considered the first floor.
The following items are covered under building coverage as long as they are connected to a power source and/or installed in their functioning location:
- Sump pumps
- Well water tanks and pumps, cisterns and the water in them
- Oil tanks and the oil in them, natural gas tanks and the gas in them
- Pumps and/or tanks used in conjunction with solar energy
- Furnaces, hot water heaters, air conditioners and heat pumps
- Electrical junction and circuit breaker boxes and required utility connections
- Foundation elements
- Stairways, staircases, elevators and dumbwaiters
- Unpainted dry wall and ceilings, including fiberglass insulation
The following items are covered under contents coverage:
- Clothes washers and dryer
- Food freezers and the food in them
Flood insurance does not cover basement improvements or items not necessary to make the home safe, sanitary and functional — such as carpeting, finished walls, paint, floors, ceilings, furniture or personal belongings that may be kept in the basement. Necessary items are included under building coverage and some under contents coverage. The NFIP encourages people to purchase both building and contents coverage for the best protection.
I find that a lot of homeowners believe that, by purchasing flood insurance, their basement will be covered just like any other part of the house but that is not true unfortunately.
If you currently have flood insurance or are considering buying a policy, we are here flood licensed and ready to help. Please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org or give us a call at 424-242-5252 if you have any questions.
1500 Benson Road South, Suite 201
Renton, WA 98055