Most homeowners may use the terms “flood damage” and “water damage” interchangeably. They may even be surprised to find out that these terms are actually two very different things. In your average everyday conversation, it isn’t a big deal, but in the world of home insurance, these two types of damage are very different. 

Do you know the difference between water damage and flood damage? Even more importantly, are you covered for both under your home insurance in Springfield Ohio

The Difference Between Flood Damage And Water Damage 

These two causes of damage to your home are not interchangeable.  Both can cause a great deal of damage to the foundation of your home, flooring, walls, and possessions but when it comes to your coverage for damage repair, there are differences.

  • Water damage: Usually caused by plumbing, or interior water sources such as a backup from a toilet, a flooded air-conditioning unit, or an overflowed washing machine.
  • Flood damage is usually caused by water from a natural disaster, hurricane, or heavy rain event. This can include flash flooding, sump pump failure, or prolonged roof leaks.

Causes of Water Damage

As stated above general water damage is often the result of internal issues. This could be a burst pipe or plumbing issues. The damage often originates from the toilet, refrigerator, washing machine, or HVAC system. Any malfunction in your home that doesn’t allow water to drain or flow properly can cause water damage. 

Simple human error can also cause a great deal of water damage. Your child dumps water out of the tub and it leaks into the downstairs bedroom or a sink is left running for too long and overflows. 

The resulting damage can be severe depending on the location of the leak or malfunction and how long it is before someone finds it. Water travels easily and quickly from one area of the house to another. 

Heavy rains may cause water damage without causing flood damage. If your home’s roof is damaged during a storm and rainwater leaks into the house, it is usually considered water, not flood damage. The key difference is the event that caused the damage, in this case, a storm.

Causes of Flood Damage

The definition of flood damage is a little more complex. Generally, flood damage is damage done to your house as a result of a flooding event. So, it must rain enough to cause a flood or flash flooding in your area. 

This can happen during a natural disaster or a strong storm or hurricane that produces heavy rainfall in a short period of time. It can also occur when you don’t have a proper slope for stormwater runoff around your home or when a rain or storm control basin near you overflows.

What is Covered by Homeowner’s Insurance?

As insurance agents, it is our job to educate people on what their homeowner’s insurance policy covers and be sure they have adequate coverage for their home’s unique needs. This often means reminding people that the average home insurance policy does not cover flood damage. While your policy will usually cover water damage, it will not cover expenses related to a flooding event. 

Always remember, in the world of insurance water damage and flood damage are two very different things. 

For this reason, it could be beneficial for you to add flood insurance to your home insurance policy. Now, this won’t make sense for everyone but if you live in an area that is prone to flooding, live near a body of water, or have less than ideal slope and grading in your backyard, it could be a smart choice.

Our agents at Link-Hellmuth are always happy to help you analyze your risk factors and decipher which type of insurance will be beneficial for you. Give us a call to talk with an agent today.