The legal definition of an insurance claim is a one-time loss and not an ongoing problem due to neglect.Was it that rainstorm that left your basement a watery mess? Or was it your welcome home gift that the house decided to burst a pipe? In any case, you’ve got yourself some serious home damage! Now you wait to hear back about your claim, but naturally they don’t get back to you. Or better yet! When they do, its to tell you they will give you an answer in a few days. When you finally demand an answer as to why the process has been taking so long, you’re baffled when they claim that they’re trying to decide if your home was flood damaged or water damaged.
The word FLOOD means water coming from a rising body of water (an ocean, river, etc.,) Now so what there isn’t really much of a difference between flood or water damage its the same thing right? Water filled basement is after filled basement! Wrong! It means everything to the insurance company/adjuster. There is a major difference between flood damages and damages from excess water. Insurance companies define flood as rising water and overflowing onto dry land. The word “rising” plays a big role in determining whether or not an insurance company will classify a claims instance as flood or water damage. (As opposed to water from a toilet overflow, burst pipe, or plumbing leak which usually is covered.)
Lets say that nearby river overflows its banks and washes into your home, that would be considered a flood. Or the over saturated soil around your house allows rain to flow into your basement because it can’t be absorbed. Even heavy rain would be considered flood damage. The definition of water damage is much broader, and involves virtually any instance without rising water. Water damage is also usually caused by internal issues in a home or building. A broken water heater that floods your basement, a rain saturated roof that leads to leaks and drips, or a burst pipe would be considered instances of water damage.
It’s important to keep in mind that certain issues resulting in water damage may be denied if poor home maintenance or negligence caused the problem. That’s why it’s important for home owners to routinely perform maintenance, and be aware of any restrictions their insurance policy may place on claims.
Provided as an educational service by:
Claim Solutions Salatino, Ryan & Associates
181 Genesee St Utica, NY 13501