Understanding the difference between Water Damage and Flood Damage is a crucial first step to understanding a policy and what is covered.
This typically originates from plumbing issues such as a backed-up toilet or overflowing washing machine. The water only floods one home, but does not affect neighboring homes. These are covered under a homeowner’s insurance policy.
This is typically caused by water originating from a natural disaster such as a hurricane or heavy rainstorm. Resulting concerns can include flash flooding, sump pump failures, and sewer backups. Then, excess water is on an area of land that is typically dry. Two or more acres of land or two or more properties are affected (FEMA).
After a major storm, homeowners who sustain rising water in their home often think their loss will be covered under their homeowner’s insurance policy. The fact is that homeowners need a flood policy separate from their homeowner’s policy.
If part of a roof is torn off and rain enters the dwelling during a storm, the resulting damage of the interior is typically covered in a homeowner’s policy.
If rising water from tremendous rainfall begins to breach your windows or doors, interior damage would not be covered under a homeowners policy. It would most likely be covered by a flood policy.
Considerations when deciding whether or not a flood homeowners policy is right for you:
- If there is a drainage ditch in the vicinity of your home, how efficient is it?
Example: The water drainage ditch in front of your home fills up quickly during a storm. This can cause yard flooding and make an abundance of issues.
- If living in an older home, consider how new building requirements for surrounding buildings influence your home.
Example: Your home was built in 1960 and newer homes have been built in the neighborhood since then. They are elevated compared to your house. When it rains, the water flows from their property onto yours and now there’s an opportunity for a concentration of water to pool in the area of your home.