The focus of this work is the study of lift enhancement in flapping hover flight using numerical simulations. An idealized set of kinematics for a NACA0012 airfoil consisting of sequential translations and rotations is considered for this purpose, such that the Cl response can be demarcated into translational and rotational parts, which facilitates comparison of forces attributed to translation and rotation. Additionally, comparisons with pure translation and pure rotation are done to isolate the effect of wing-wake interactions. The investigation reveals that the majority of lift is produced in the translational phase. The wing-wake interactions affect the translational phase of the response more than the rotational phase. However, the rotation rate determines the extent of influence of wing-wake interactions on the translational lift response. The effect of different durations of overlap between the translational and rotational motions is also assessed based on the Cl time histories and mean Cl, and the study reveals that an optimum duration of overlap can maximize the lift. An immersed-boundary method with integrated surface-load reconstruction capabilities is used for the computations presented here. The reconstruction of the surface stresses and their integration are carried out with the framework of a parallel solver. The method is validated for a flow past a NACA0012 airfoil executing a non-periodic plunge motion and a non-periodic pitch/plunge motion and a flow around an elliptic airfoil executing a flapping motion. © 2020 Author(s).