What's the Difference Between Flood Damage and Water Damage? - NYCM Insurance Blog

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May 2, 2023

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

Nothing is worse than flash floods, broken pipes, water main bursts, and roof leaks. But how do you know whether you have water damage or flood damage? Although they may seem similar, when it comes to insurance, they are very different. 

What is a Flood?

A flood is an overflow of water that submerges land that is normally dry. Flooding can be anywhere from a few inches of water to several feet of water. According to the National Flood Insurance Program, a flood is a temporary condition of partial or complete coverage of two or more acres of land area. This land area is normally dry and is covered from:
  • Overflow of inland or tidal waters
  • Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source
  • Mudflow
  • Collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or similar body of due to erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels that result in a flood as defined above
If you have damage from any of the above sources, you might be dealing with flood damage which may require you to submit a claim.  

What is Water Damage? 

To keep it simple, the main difference between flood damage and water damage is where the water comes from.  Water that overflows creeks and streams, or that accumulates on the surface of the ground is not typically covered by your homeowners policy. In most cases, water damage is covered under your homeowners policy. There are also endorsements available for water which backs up through sewers, drains and sump pumps.  However, there are exceptions and knowing what’s covered under your homeowners policy is important. 

Water damage is a very common type of insurance claim that can be costly. Even a small leak can lead to serious damage to your home and belongings.

A simple way to avoid major damage is routine maintenance checks and attention to warning signs which can prevent a problem before it has a chance to develop. It’s best to contact your agent to see whether or not you have the coverage you need.

Still not sure whether you are protected against water damage or flood damage? Chat with an agent today before it’s too late. Floods are unexpected, it’s best to be proactive!