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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

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

7/18/2022 (Permalink)

Basement water extraction Technician providing water extraction service in basement.

Is it Flood Damage or Water Damage?

Mitigating and restoration is only part of the battle when it comes to addressing water damage. With water damage the first step is trying to determine if it can be classified as a water damage claim or a flood damage claim. This information is important, since it determines what part of the loss can be covered and what can't. 

It can be complicated when filling an insurance claim caused by water damage. When trying to determine if the loss falls under flood loss or regular water damage can be difficult depending on the terms and conditions laid out in the insurance contract and by how the government defines each of those events.

How to Find Answers?

The distinction between what is classified as a water loss or flood loss, is best described by (FEMA) the Federal Emergency Management Agency defines flood damage as a general and temporary condition of partial complete inundation of two or more acres and two or more properties of normally dry land. 

Braking it down to more simple terms, if the damages were caused by the water was from a natural source and neighbors are experiencing the same issues, it can most likely be classified as flood damage according to FEMA. The main things that can cause flood damage is an overflow of inland or tidal waters, unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source, mudflow, or collapse of land along the shore of a lake or similar body of water as a result of erosion or undermining caused by waves/currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels that result in a flood. 

What if my Home was Damaged by a Flood?

Let’s say the flood has caused damage to your home, it is important to figure out if you have flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program. Home insurance companies do not offer coverage on flood damage. Having flood insurance is beneficial to home owners that the slightest chance of being affected by a flood. The National Flood Insurance Program states that flood insurance policies cover physical damage to your property along with possessions. 

Under flood insurance everything from the building and its foundation, to the refrigerator and the food inside of it will be taken into consideration when a claim is filed. Flood insurance does cover basements and areas that are below the lowest elevated floor, but there are some stipulation in regards to that depending on the flood zone and the date the home was constructed. Flood damage does not cover the cover any sentimental value of any property, so be sure to remove any items such as photos, documents, or personal items that can't be replaced as quickly as possible. 

What if it's a Regular Water Loss?

If the water damage doesn't originate from a natural source and it's not affecting other properties in the surrounding area. a water damage claim is the way to go. Water issues caused by a broken, toilet, overflowing bathtub, broken pipes, or a burst water mains are all grounds for water damage claims that should be filed with your homeowners’ insurance company. 

Going Through the Process

Filing a claim for water damage or flood damage can be very confusing. At time it's very overwhelming and sometimes you may need assistance, so don't be afraid to call SERVPRO of Northeast Bergen County, Fair Lawn. We can help you through the remediation process. 

You can reach us at: (201) 244-0100 

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