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What is Considered a Flood for Purposes of NY Flood Insurance?

flooding flood insurance

Are you protected against flood damage?

When determining whether or not you should purchase NY flood insurance to accompany your homeowners insurance policy its important to understand exactly what a flood is. In general terms anywhere rains it can flood. This means geographical areas such as  greater Albany, NY have a legitimate flooding concern whether you’re home is in a high risk flood zone or not.


Flooding is considered a general and temporary condition in which at least two or more acres of normally dry land or two or more properties are inundated by rising water and/or mud flow.

Natural disasters such as hurricanes as New York residents saw with hurricane Irene and the more recent Hurricane Sandy can cause flood waters to rise quickly and dramatically. Other incidents such as dam failures or levee breaks or outdated or clogged drainage systems can lead to the rapid rise in waters levels and ultimately flooding.

It’s very important to understand that just because your home is not located in a high risk flood zone you are still at risk of flooding. According to the New York Times one in four or 25% of all flood insurance claims happen in low to moderate risk flood zones. Just because the area which your home is located in doesn’t have a flood history does not mean that you aren’t not at risk for a flood loss.

Flood Insurance: Are you at risk of flooding?

There are many factors that go into determining whether or not you are at risk of flooding. Factors to consider included rainfall overflow from a river or a tidal surge if you live near the ocean, the municipal and state flood control measures that are in place and any changes to your geographical region which could reroute drainage runoffs.

To determine whether or not you are in a high risk flood zone FEMA has developed flood hazard maps. Most of these flood hazard maps are located online and can be found

Its important to understand that the landscape around our home is constantly changing. A small runoff near our home could be blocked by a downed tree or clogged by leaves from the fall and during the spring thaw could create an overflow situation that reroutes water directly towards your home. A new development near your home could completely change the way water flows through your community and could cause water tables to rise and direct water towards your home.

The Insurance Take-Away

The main point here is that a flooding is a specific type of water loss that is not covered under a NY homeowners insurance policy. If you would like coverage for flood insurance you need to purchase a separate NY flood insurance policy. It is true that flood insurance policies for homes built in high-risk flood zones can be quite expensive. However, for everyone else in low to moderate risk flood zones a flood insurance policy can be very inexpensive. This makes flood insurance protection for a home and a low to moderate risk zone extremely important as these individuals are often the least prepared for a flood emergency.

If you are concerned about a flood loss or if you’ve questions regarding NY flood insurance please give the Murray Group call at (518) 456-6688 or click here to begin the process by email. We look forward to helping you with your flood insurance questions and providing you with proposal for flood insurance policy.

Thank you

Ryan Hanley, CIC

photo credit: postaletrice via photopin cc