Flooding refers to a large deposit of water around a home or building, or when the ground can’t support the excess amount of water. At this point, the water will enter into a home or building and create damage. This is referred to as flood damage.
On the other hand, water damage is usually caused by internal issues in a home or building, including, but not limited to toilet over-flows, burst pipes, water heater leaks, broken sprinkler heads, etc.
The difference between flood and water damage to home and business owners’, is who is responsible – financially and legally.
Financially, your damage will potentially fall under 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 is in an area that is under a State of Emergency. However, you should always contact FEMA directly and never assume a damage will be covered; as with all government programs, the rules can change based on particular circumstances and policies differ from state to state.
Insurance companies have a policy, which is basically a contract, with the home or business owner stating what will and will not be covered. Generally, insurance companies cover water damages, where the home or business owner could not prevent the hazard.
Unfortunately, many policyholders are shocked when they learn that their claim has been denied when they sustain flood damage. They discover that the insurance company deemed the damage was the result of a “maintenance issue” (what the homeowner could control). Most home and business owners do not even know that there are maintenance issues required of them under their policy. According to the insurance industry, home and building owners are supposed to inspect basements and windows to determine potential leak and flood liabilities!
The most important thing you can do is to carefully review your insurance policy so that you are not caught by surprise for any type of damage that may occur! As well, if you discover any type of water in your home or business, contact a restoration company immediately! The quicker 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 look the same or seem the same, but depending on who is paying are actually worlds apart in definition. If you have water issues in your home or business make sure you understand the situation before you begin.