A recent rainstorm left a several inches of water in your basement and your home has incurred water damage. You’re waiting anxiously for updates on your insurance claim and when you get a response, your told they’re trying to determine if your home was flood damaged or water damaged. Well isn’t flood damage just another kind of water damage? What exactly constitutes flood damage, what constitutes water damage, and why does it matter?
In the event of a storm, there are two main sources of damage as a result of water. For example, at the outset of the storm, rain driven by wind is the most likely cause. While the storm is pounding outside, your windows or roof may fail and allow in some water. This damage would be covered by the home insurance policy. However, once the storm has been raging for some time, sewer systems may be unable to keep up with the amount of rain and an accumulation of water starts to build. If this rising water reaches your home and causes damage to your basements, flooring, and other property, the home insurance policy would deny the claim. Now let’s examine the causes.
Causes of Water Damage
- Severe rainstorms soak through your roof, damaging walls and floors.
- An upstairs pipe bursts and water saturates the ceiling below.
- A toilet overflows soaking your bathroom floorboards.
- A broken water heater floods your basement.
- A hailstorm breaks your windows and allows water into your home.
Causes of Flood Damage
A flood is defined as the rising or overflowing of a body of water onto dry land. In other words, water coming from a rising body of water like a river as opposed to water overflowing from a toilet. A nearby river that overflows its banks and washes into your home would be considered a flood. Rain that flows into your basement because it can’t be absorbed by the water saturated soil around your house is a flood. Even a mud slide caused by heavy rain or a flash flood would be considered flood damage.
- Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source
- Collapse or subsidence of land along the shores 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.
- Overflow of inland or tidal waters
Water damage is typically covered by the homeowner’s policy. Flood insurance, on the other hand, is a separate National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) approved policy. The main difference between a flood claim and a water damage claim is that flood water comes from a natural source and two or more properties are involved (if you reside in a generally residential versus rural area). If you and your neighbors are all having water issues due to heavy rains and/or rising waters, then you are likely dealing with a flood insurance claim. On the other hand, if you are dealing with water in your house but your neighbor doesn’t have any issues (again, in a residential area), you are most likely dealing with a water damage claim. Some things might be covered by your homeowners’ insurance, but flooding is not one of them.
It’s important to note that flood insurance and homeowners insurance do not duplicate coverage for water damage. Instead, they complement each other. Which of these policies are essential? Should you buy both? You should make sure you speak with a specialist about the best type of policy for the area where you live. Contact your insurance agent and to discuss what you need to do to protect your belongings, home, and your family.
The Cleanup Process
In some cases, the damage caused by a water intrusion might not be immediately apparent and may only be characterized by an unpleasant odor. However, addressing the problem within the first few hours can greatly help reduce the degree of permanent damage, and the consequent increase in restoration costs. If left unattended, even a small leak can cause significant damage to the structure and the contents inside.
- Damage assessment
- Extract water and remove Debris
- Dry Property (using state-of-the-art-drying equipment)
- Perform Mold Remediation Services
- Perform Demolition, Construction & Reconstruction Services
- Restoration of possessions such as clothes, linens, books and documents
You can trust us with your most important asset.