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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Water Damage VS Flood Damage Coverage: Knowing the Difference

6/22/2021 (Permalink)

House in flood waters Flood waters can quickly overwhelm your home.

When it comes to getting insurance for your home or business, researching and knowing everything about a policy is key. One common mistake many homeowners tend to make is assuming flood damage is covered under their homeowners insurance. Your definition of a flood may be different from the definition your insurance company uses when considering a flood. The important thing to remember is that flood damage is NOT the same as water damage, and this especially applies when it comes to insurance purposes.

The Differences

Flooding by the National Flood Insurance Program is defined as: "A temporary rising of water on land that is normally dry, causing damage to two or more properties." 

-Overflowing of a body of water

-A mudslide caused by heavy rains

-Heavy rains that soil cannot absorb quickly enough causing water to seep into the home

Those are all examples of how flooding can occur. Now let’s talk about water damage. Typically water damage is covered under Homeowner’s Insurance (you should read and know your policy to determine what kind of water damage). Water damage to insurance companies means water damage that happened before the water came in contact with the ground. Such as:

-Heavy rains soak into your roof damaging ceilings, walls, and floors.

-A pipe bursts causing water to saturate the ceiling below

-An overflowing toilet soaking the bathroom and seeping into floorboards

-Hail causes a window to break, allowing water to get inside the home or window seal


Water damage is covered by insurance companies when the home or business owner could not prevent the hazard. Flooding is a hazard we cannot control. However the main difference is, flooding is a hazard that comes from a natural source. Also keep in mind two or more properties need to be involved for insurance companies to cover a flood claim. Always thoroughly review your insurance policies to know exactly what is and is not covered before any flood or water damage occurs. Keep in mind, if you do need to purchase flood insurance most insurance policies require 30 days before it is active. If you know you are in a flood zone, educate yourself on your coverage options. A flood could happen any day and it is best to be prepared. When water does cause damage, call the team at SERVPRO of Vermilion County, to make it "Like it never even happened."

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