Is There a Difference Between Water Damage and Flood Damage?

Water Damage vs. Flood Damage

It can cost thousands of dollars whenever your home sustains damage from a flood. Luckily, your insurance is there to cover it — right? Not necessarily. Water damage and flood damage are categorized as two separate things, and your homeowner’s insurance may or may not include the damage to your home.

It’s important to understand the differences and know what your policy states, especially if you live in an area that’s prone to flooding.

What’s the Difference Between Water Damage
and Flood Damage?

Both FEMA and the National Flood Insurance Program have specific definitions for a flood. Both say that it’s a general and temporary condition that either partially or completely inundates two or more acres of typically dry land or two or more properties. It’s caused by an overflow of inland or tidal water, unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of water from any source, mudflow, or the collapse or subsidence of land near a lakeshore or other body of water from erosion.

Most homeowner’s insurance policies do not cover flood damage that’s classified under this definition. That means anytime there’s a hurricane, storm, heavy rain, or more, your insurance won’t cover it. You have to purchase an extra flood insurance plan for those instances.

On the other hand, water damage is usually covered under your homeowner’s insurance policy. Some water damage examples include severe rains that soak through your roof, a burst pipe, an overflowing toilet or a storm that breaks your windows and allows water inside.

There’s a catch, though. If you could have prevented the water damage, your insurance company may choose not to cover it. For example, if you had ample time to fix your toilet that was always causing problems, your insurance agency can decide to leave the mess and cost up to you.

The key is understanding what’s covered and what’s not under your plan. Don’t wait until you’re dealing with a flood from a hurricane to inquire about your insurance. This is even more vital if you live in an area that frequently floods. Flood insurance policies often don’t cost as much as you think. Talk to your local insurance agents about how you can get flood insurance for a low annual premium.

Cleaning Up the Water Damage

After your home sustains water damage, don’t try to clean it up alone. There’s a difference between simply removing the water and truly restoring your home to its former condition. You may think you’ve eradicated the mess, but harmful mold and mildew can linger and cause serious health issues if it’s not taken care of. Plus, standing water from any source can contain harmful contaminants.

Work with a professional to end your flood damage in Chicago. Whether you are looking at water damage or flood damage, ServiceMaster of Lincoln Park can clean up both. We work with insurance companies to get your house back and better than before. Contact us today to learn more about our water restoration services.

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