Did you know flood is excluded under most homeowners policies?


Flooding is a top natural disaster in the U.S. However, most homeowners insurance policies exclude flood coverage. According to the Insurance Information Institute, only 27% of homeowners in the U.S. have a flood insurance policy.1 The National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) states that more than 20% of NFIP insurance claims are filed by those who aren’t located in high-risk flood zones.2

The NFIP defines flood as a general and temporary condition where two or more acres of normally dry land or two or more properties are inundated by water or mudflow. Our definition is broader. Basic flood coverage can be purchased from the NFIP with up to $250,000 for the structure of your home and up to $100,000 for personal property.3 Understanding that is not enough coverage for your family, Nationwide® Private Client offers broader primary flood coverage with much higher limit options than NFIP.

How Nationwide Private Client responds

The following table compares flood coverage from Nationwide Private Client Flood versus NFIP:

Coverage Private Client flood endorsement4 NFIP flood policy3
Physical damage
Physical loss or damage to your home and other structures (including debris removal caused directly by flooding/mudflow)
Options available up to $1,000,000 Up to $250,000
Personal property
Physical loss or damage to your personal property (caused directly by flooding/mudflow)
Options available up to $300,000 Up to $100,000 (limitations apply)
Building ordinance
Additional costs to rebuild in compliance with required building ordinance and law upgrades
Up to $75,000 Up to $30,0005 (only state/local floodplain management law/ordinances — up to max limit on policy)
Additional living expenses
Increase in your normal living expenses necessary to maintain your standard of living for the reasonable amount of time required to restore your home to a habitable condition
Up to $250,000/up to one year Not covered

Private Client also offers up to $10,000 for preventive measures for your home versus only $1,000 from NFIP. We cover up to $25,000 for structural engineering inspection or debris removal if condemned; reimbursement for additional living expenses for up to 30 days if you are forced to evacuate your home; and fair rental value for up to 1 year to restore your rental property to a habitable condition — none of which are available with an NFIP policy.

How you may be at risk

Let's review several scenarios.

  • Your $1 million home is zoned in a moderate- to low-risk flood zone, but your city receives a downpour of rain the media is labeling a “100-year storm.” You had to evacuate quickly as the rivers and streams rose rapidly, and you were not able to take all your valuables with you. Your home is severely flooded and it will take 10 months to restore it back to a habitable condition.
  • Your home is damaged from a flood. During the rebuilding process, your contractor advises you that in addition to covered repairs to your home, current building codes require you to make a number of upgrades that will cost you an additional $65,000.
  • Your home is in imminent danger of a flood due to extreme weather conditions. You prepare by hiring a team to place ample sand bags and flood control barriers around your home to help prevent water from flowing into your basement.

The Nationwide Private Client flood policy is designed with these scenarios in mind, but you might only be partially covered with a NFIP flood policy. If you only have a homeowners policy without a flood endorsement, you will probably have no coverage.

Why it’s important for you

Rising sea levels may bring flooding to areas that are normally at lower risk. While more coastal areas are affected by floods, inland and central states are not immune. Heavy rains can result in flood damage. Talk to your agent about whether or not you are adequately protected from a flood damaging your home and personal property.

Nationwide Private Client offers these added benefits:

  • Specialized claims service: Our team of problem-solvers is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

[1] iii.org/fact-statistic/facts-statistics-flood-insurance. This figure is due to a consumer poll by III in 2020.
[2] fema.gov/sites/default/files/2020-07/fema_NFIP_National-Flood-Insurance-Program-Fact-Sheet_May-2016.pdf?msclkid=3db1a930cf9911eca3209532f55d2748
[3] floodsmart.gov/policy-term
[4] This endorsement is available to clients with homes in low to moderate flood zones (B, C, X). Coverage does not apply to landslide. Other limitations and exclusions may apply. Consult with your insurance agent.
[5] nfipservices.floodsmart.gov/claims/increased-cost-compliance