What is a Flood?

My prior post provided a valuable tool in determining if your home is in a flood zone.  I would like to expand on that to clarify what is a flood.  The National Flood Insurance Program and the Federal Emergency Management Agency define a flood as:
“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 (at least one of which is the policyholder’s property) from:
–Overflow of inland or tidal waters; or
–Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source; or
–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 above.”
If you have determined that you are in the flood zone, I recommend securing a flood policy to transfer this risk to the insurance company.
As side note, water backup of the sewer and sump pump malfunction is not part of the definition of a flood.  Make sure you add the water backup/sump pump overflow endorsement to your home owners policy to close this gap in coverage.  Most companies offer a minimum of $5000 with the option to purchase up to $50,000 or in some high value home policies, up to the policy limits.  I strongly recommend that you review your home owners policy for this coverage, especially if you have a partial to fully finished basement!