Comment: Definition of Flood (common in insurance policies)

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Definition of Flood (common in insurance policies)

Flood Policy Definitions:

Flood: A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres (general) or two or more properties (at least one of which is the policyholder’s property) of normally dry land area (temporary) from the:

  • • Overflow of inland or tidal waters;
  • • Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source; or
  • • Mudflow.

Flood also includes the 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.

Four concepts on which to focus in this definition are:

  1. The definition states “two or more properties…,” it does not state “structures” or who the owner of the second property must be. If the contiguous flood crosses onto another’s property, the inundation qualifies as a “flood;”
  2. The “Southfork Ranch” provision (where the Ewings lived in TV’s Dallas). Insureds that own a large amount of land may never qualify for coverage without this two-acre provision;
  3. Mudflow in the flood policy is not synonymous with mudslide. It means a river of liquid and flowing mud on the surfaces of normally dry land areas; and
  4. The collapse or subsidence of land does not mean erosion over long periods of time; this is sudden erosion caused by the inundation by flood waters.

Disclaimer: Mark Twain (1835-1910-To be continued) is unlicensed. His river pilot's license went delinquent in 1862. Caution advised. Daily Paul