Flood and water damage aren’t the same thing. Understanding the similarities and differences between flood damage vs water damage can help Nashville, Tennessee, homeowners navigate their homeowners insurance after a burst pipe or flash flooding from inclement weather.
Use this guide to learn the most prominent differences between flood and water damage, including necessary cleanup steps and when to contact a professional with each type.
Call In a Water Restoration Company
Dealing with water damage, whether from heavy rain or backed-up stormwater runoff, can be overwhelming. Ease some of this stress by contacting a professional water restoration company.
Additionally, prompt remediation is a must after flood damage to avoid mold growth. Standing water can also eventually lead to structural damage, adding thousands of dollars in repairs to your bill.
A water restoration company can help you collect repair coverage quotes, communicate with your insurance agency, and efficiently clean your home. Prompt action can minimize damages and help keep you and your family safe.
What’s the Difference Between Water Damage & Flood Damage?
Water damage describes damage to the home related to home systems, such as plumbing or a clogged drain. Flood damage is damage that arises from a natural disaster or exterior water-source flooding into the home.
The biggest distinction between flood and water damage is how the insurance company views each claim type, primarily based on the water’s origin or cause.
Water that enters the home from a backed-up toilet, clogged drain, or faulty washing machine is typically covered under a water damage policy. Water that intrudes the home from nearby a natural source, like a lake, river, or ocean, is considered flood damage.
Of course, there are times when flood damage and water damage can both occur, especially during extreme weather events.
What Causes Water Damage?
Water damage is defined as a sudden and accidental loss. It is any household damage that arises from home-sourced water. This may include any of the following situations:
- Flood damage from a broken appliance
- Flooding from a leaking roof
- A water heater leaking
- Freezing pipes that burst
- Overflowed washing machine or pool
- A backed-up toilet
- Natural storm and rainwater leaks
What Causes Flood Damage?
According to the National Flood Insurance Program, a flood is an event that causes damage to two or more properties. A flood may also be characterized by an event that leads to the complete inundation of damage to two or more acres of land.
Flood damage is household damage that comes from the intrusion or flooding of water. A few examples of flood damage may include:
- Rainwater flooding a nearby river, which causes water to flow into the basement
- Rising water levels from a surge
- External sewage system backing up into the basement
- Natural disasters, like a hurricane or flash floods
- Unusual and rapid accumulation of water from heavy rains
- Storm control basin overflowing
3 Steps To Take After Water vs Flood Damage
Many of the steps you take following household damage, whether from water or flood damage, are the same. Here are a few key steps to take after partial or complete inundation of water that leads to property damage:
Talk With Your Insurance Company
Not all policies cover flood damage, meaning it’s worth reviewing your homeowner’s policy before making a claim.
You can also work with your water restoration company to prepare your water damage and flood claim. Most insurance companies require ample evidence and photographs to submit a water damage claim.
Begin Repairs and Remediation
Whether a faulty home appliance or flood caused the damage, immediate repairs and remediation are essential. Your restoration company can help you collect quotes from local contractors.
Evaluate and Put a Plan in Place To Prevent Future Damages
After repairs are made, and cleanups are complete, it’s a good idea to put a prevention plan in place. If you’re in a high-risk area or on a flood plain, it may be worth it to review your flood insurance policy.
Make sure your home has the proper slope to drain water away from your home’s roof effectively. If you live in an area with heavy rainfall or high occurrences of flash flood damages, you may need to adjust your insurance policy.
What Is Covered by Homeowner’s Insurance?
Most homeowners insurance policies cover water damage. However, some states require policyholders to take out a separate flood insurance rider or policy to cover certain types of water damage.
Homeowners who live in states where floods are possible or likely may be required to purchase a separate flood insurance policy.
Water Damage vs Flood – Which Type of Claim Do I Have?
You have water in your home and want to file an insurance claim. You may be wondering, is it traditional water damage or flood damage? Understanding the differences between water damage vs flood can help when filing a claim.
Working with a water damage restoration company can help you navigate the complexities of the insurance claims process. You can also ask yourself the following questions to determine which insurance coverage to seek when filing a claim:
What Caused the Damage?
When determining if damages are covered under a standard homeowners insurance policy, one of the first things to ask yourself is what caused the damage. If the water damage arose from a source within the home, like burst pipes or a faulty appliance, your insurance company should cover most of the damage.
If you live in a flood-prone area and the damage is a direct consequence of extreme weather, it may only be covered under a flood policy.
Did Anyone Else Suffer Damage?
Another way to distinguish the difference between water damage and flood damage is whether or not other homes also experienced a rapid accumulation of water.
The key difference between water and flood damage is that a flood affects more than your home. If the majority of your neighbors also experienced property damage, it’s most likely categorized as a flood.
Flooded Air Conditioning Unit – Flood or Traditional Insurance?
A flooded air conditioning unit is usually an example of traditional damage covered under a homeowners policy.
Storm Surge Following a Tropical Storm – Which Insurance Type?
If a storm surge from a Tennessee tropical storm causes water to flood into your home, it may be covered within your flood insurance.
Is Flood Damage Covered in Hurricane Policies?
Flood damage isn’t typically included in hurricane policies. Tennessee is landlocked, so it’s not at risk of direct hurricane hits. However, the state has experienced damage from tropical storms or heavy summer rains, making flood insurance worth consideration.
Do I Need Flood Insurance?
Whether or not you need flood insurance depends on what’s included in your homeowners insurance policy and how at-risk you are of flooding. Discussing your flood insurance needs with your insurance company is always a good idea.
Too many homeowners skip flood insurance because they live in a normally dry land area. However, heavy rains can lead to expensive property damage, whether or not your house sits above or below sea level. Generally speaking, every homeowner should weigh the pros and cons of a flood insurance policy. You can check whether or not your home is in a flood zone through FEMA.
Natural disasters can cause extensive damage, especially when it produces heavy rainfall. Having the right insurance before can save you a lot of money.
Structural and Electrical Damage Considerations
All types of water damage can lead to structural and electrical damage, which is another exceptional reason to contact a water restoration company as soon as possible. Filing a water damage claim promptly ensures you have the funds to clean up and remove mold and repair your home’s structure.
Why Professional Remediation?
It’s not always easy to distinguish between what constitutes flood damage versus traditional water damage. Contact Flood Kings Water Restoration to restore your property back to its original condition.