Water Damage, Flood Damage, and Homeowners' Insurance Policies

Published: 25th November 2009
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Many homeowners still do not know the distinction between flood damage and water damage. Because of this, they get all their insurance claims messed up and this eventually may lead to claims being rejected or undervalued. This article will discuss briefly the distinction between flood damage and water damage and will further give out the basics on the insurances that cover them.

Flood damage is caused by flooding while water damage is caused by water that enters or fills the house. Most homeowners think that their homes are flooded just because it is filled up by 6 inches of water. However, insurance companies have their own distinct definition of flooding. Flooding, for an insurance company, can only occur if the water that is entering the house comes from the overflowing of a natural body of water such as a lake or a river. It is therefore important to understand this in order to make the proper insurance claim. Homeowners' Insurance Policies does not cover damages caused by floods. Flood insurance can be purchased from the Federal government only if the community takes part in the National Flood Insurance Program.

Water damage on the other hand is caused when water enters the house through a number of causes except for flooding. Homeowners' Insurance Policies cover water damage situations that belong to these categories:

(1) When water pipes burst, homeowners' insurance will cover the only the water damage to the furniture and other household items. The insurance will not cover the cost for replacing the pipes since this is already a part of regular household maintenance.

However, if the pipes burst because water inside them froze due to the failure of the occupants to maintain the heat in the house while they are away, then the water damage claim can be denied in the grounds of neglect on the part of homeowners. It is therefore important to be careful on what it to be said during the claiming process.

(2) Water damage to the basement which was caused by an overflowed pool will be covered by the homeowners' insurance policy. However, if water from the pool affected the lawn, the insurance will not cover the lawn. Also, the insurance policy will or will not cover the damage to the pool depending on what caused it to overflow in the first place. For example, if a tree has fallen inside the pool which caused the pool's waters to overflow, then the insurance will both cover for the water damage inside the house and for the repairs to the pool.

(3) Homeowners' insurance policy also covers water damage caused by water overflowing from washing machines. However, the insurance will try to scrutinize this scenario and would determine if there is neglect on the part of the homeowner. If the washer is old and the homeowner did not maintain the machine properly then the claim might be denied.

(4) Water damage caused by leaking roof is covered by the insurance but will not cover the cost of roof repairs since this is considered to be a maintenance cost. However, if the roof was damaged and that the damage was brought about by storms such as a fallen tree. Then the insurance will cover the cost for both the damage to the roof and the items.
Leo Nov is an editorial staff member of RestorationSOS.com, a leading service provider for water damage cleanups. To learn more about water damage and water removal, visit RestorationSOS.com

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