Understanding The Difference Between Flood Damage And Water Damage
Hurricane season is just a couple of months away in Florida and it is important that Floridians take this time to prepare. One of the best ways to prepare is to understand different insurance terms and policies, so you understand what you are and are not covered for in the event disaster strikes. Below, our Daytona Beach flood damage lawyer explains two of the most misunderstood terms of insurance – flood damage versus water damage.
What is Flood Damage?
Damage caused by floods refers to losses caused by an external force. In other words, water damage caused by Mother Nature is considered flood damage. Natural sources, such as storms and overflowing rivers, are the cause of flood damage. Flood damage can also be caused by rainstorms, hurricanes and tropical storms, and flooding from the ocean. For example, if a river runs through your neighborhood and its water level rises over the banks and into your house, this is considered flood damage.
What is Water Damage?
Unlike flood damage, water damage is not caused by a natural source. Instead, water damage is typically caused by issues within a home itself, such as a plumbing emergency. For example, you may be enjoying a quiet night at home when suddenly, a bathroom pipe bursts and floods the hallway floor. Although the water is technically flooding the floor, this is still considered water damage because the source is internal and not natural. Some of the most common examples of water damage are as follows:
- Shower and bathtub leaks
- Overflowing toilets
- Washing machine leaks
- Freezer or refrigerator leaks
- Automatic fire systems
- HVAC systems failing to drain
The Difference when Filing a Claim
Many people think when filing an insurance claim for property damage, flood damage and water damage are covered under the same terms or policy. This is not true. Insurance companies are very clear about the difference between water damage and flood damage and they sell these policies separately. Just because you have coverage for water damage does not necessarily mean you are covered for flood damage.
Most Florida homeowners insurance policies include coverage for water damage, but they do not include flood damage. You must purchase a separate policy or an add-on if you need coverage. Additionally, if a hurricane causes flooding to your home, your hurricane insurance will not cover the flooding. For example, if you have hurricane insurance and a storm rips shingles off your roof, your policy would cover the damage to the roof. However, it would not cover any flooding to the home caused by the damage to the roof.
Remember when purchasing flood insurance, there is usually a 30-day waiting period. Due to this, it is critical that you do not wait until a storm is approaching but that you purchase this coverage as soon as possible.
Our Flood Damage Lawyer in Daytona Beach Can Help with Your Claim
If your property has sustained damage and you need to file a claim, our Daytona Beach flood damage lawyer at Bundza & Rodriguez can deal with the insurer on your behalf and help you obtain the full coverage you need. Call us now at 386-252-5170 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation and to learn more.