What is the difference between flood damage and water damage?

Floods refer to a large reservoir of water around a house or building, or when the ground cannot support excess water. At this point, the water will enter a house or building and cause damage. This is known as flood damage.

On the other hand, water damage is generally caused by internal problems in a home or building, including but not limited to toilet overflows, broken pipes, water heater leaks, broken sprinkler heads, etc.

The difference between flooding and water damage to home and business owners is who is responsible, financially and legally.

Financially, your damage will likely depend on your insurance company or the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA).

FEMA covers homes and buildings in states that are in a “flood zone” or if the flood occurs in an area that is in a state of emergency. However, you should always contact FEMA directly and never assume that damage will be covered; As with all government programs, rules can change based on particular circumstances, and policies differ from state to state.

Insurance companies have a policy, which is basically a contract, in which the home or business owner establishes what will and will not be covered. Generally, insurance companies cover water damage when the home or business owner was unable to avoid the hazard.

Unfortunately, many policyholders are surprised to learn that their claim has been denied when they suffer flood damage. They discover that the insurance company deemed the damage the result of a “maintenance issue” (which the owner could control). Most home and business owners don’t even know that their policy calls for maintenance issues. According to the insurance industry, home and building owners are supposed to inspect basements and windows for possible leakage and flooding.

The most important thing you can do is carefully review your insurance policy so you are not caught off guard by any type of damage that may occur! Also, if you discover any type of water in your home or business, immediately contact a restoration company! The faster the water is removed, the less damage and expense you will incur.

As you have read, flood damage and water damage are actually two different situations. They make them look the same or appear the same, but depending on who is paying, they are actually different worlds in definition. If you have water problems in your home or business, make sure you understand the situation before you begin.

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