Water and flood water damage causes a lot of distress to many homeowners. They not only destroy valuables but also affect the strength of your structure. Water and flood water damage can happen when you least expect, and this makes it imperative to plan for this in advance. However, many homeowners think that water and flood damage are the same. Additionally, most homeowners realize this mistake when it’s too late. In most cases, this happens when filing a water damage claim for flooding only to be informed that your insurance policy doesn’t cover the issue.
What is flooding?
Flooding refers to a situation where large deposits of water surrounding a home, business, or any other structure. It’s also a situation when the ground is incapable of supporting large volumes of water, allowing the water to get into the property and cause damage. And this is commonly referred to as flood damage.
What is water damage?
Water damage is the gravest kind of harm to any property and can be very costly to fix. It results from water getting in undesired places in your property. It can result from floods, toilet overflows, or malfunctions like burst pipes, water heater leaks, faulty sprinkler heads, or the main water pipes in your property. And this can lead to water damage that requires prompt attention.
Water damage often results from three types of water; the first category is clean water, which is ordinarily known as “white water.” The second one is dirty water, which is often toxic and can affect your health by causing infections
The third type of water is prevalent and can go unrecognized until the signs are evident. Some of the types of water damage include; soft walls or floors, mold, stained or peeling tiles, puddles, and dripping water.
You can find more information about flood clean up by Delaware Govt. here.
How can one prevent Water and flood water damage?
When water damage is left or long, it can result in severe damage to your property. Water also forms a breeding ground for many disease-causing organisms and can affect the people residing in the building. Simple measures of preventing water damage are;
Inspecting water pipes– Periodically examine your water pipes and ensure that there are no leaks. Don’t overlook the basement for this is where water damage usually starts. Plant roots near your property can also cause leaky pipes, resulting in water damage. But, routine inspections, cleaning, and checking for any leaks can help prevent flooding in your building.
Differences between flooding and water damage?
Although flood damage and water damage are related, they are also different in many ways. When your home gets affected by a flood, this means that many other households are also encountering the same predicament. But, in case of water damage, this doesn’t mean that neighboring houses are also facing the same problem.
Common causes of flood damage are;
- Overflowing tidal waters like rivers or creeks
- Rapid buildup of runoff water from mountains, cliffs, and hills
- Mudflow or collapse of land along lakeshores due to erosion
Insurance and compensation
Most people fail to realize that their definition of flooding and water damage may be different from that of the insurance firm. It also may define what type of insurance you require or your property. So the difference is in who is responsible for the damage, and this can be financial or legal.
For instance, if water invades your home in one of the above ways and causes damage, your homeowners’ policy won’t repay you for the loss. The reason is that this is considered a flood and demands you to have a flood insurance policy to get compensated for the damage.
Compensation– Flood insurance and water damage insurance are different. Before flooding takes place, check if your insurance policy entails this coverage. If you reside in a flood-prone area, then have the supplementary coverage incorporated in your insurance plan.
However, if your type of insurance doesn’t cover the damage on your property, then your claim won’t be covered. Moreover, if you are a homeowner but lack flood insurance, you won’t be compensated for any damages caused by floods on your premises. And this makes it difficult for you to do the flood damage repairs.
So, it’s crucial to safeguard your home from floods that accompany disasters caused by storms, hurricanes, or heavy rains. And this is because a homeowner’s insurance cover doesn’t cater for waves linked with such emergencies. Besides, a flood isn’t a form of water damage, according to many homeowners’ insurance policies.
Here’s useful information on flood and water damage insurance;
a. Water damage
Homeowners’ insurance plan usually covers water damage. However, you need to go through your policy meticulously to ascertain the type of water damage that your insurer covers. Water damage is different from flood damage in that it can occur before water comes into contact with your building.
- Hailstorm breaks your window glasses and lets in water into your home
- An overflowing toilet soaks your bathroom floorboards
- A rainstorm drenches through your roof, resulting in damage to your walls and floors.
b. Source of water
Flood claim and water damage claim are different in that flood water originates from natural sources, and it also matters whether you live in a residential or rural area. For instance;
- If your water seepage doesn’t result from a flood, you will not get coverage under your flood policy. Problems caused by leakage are usually considered to be maintenance issues and are not part of the insurance plan.
- If your home gets damaged by water, which invades your property via pipes or drains designed to take it away, a homeowner’s insurance policy may compensate you if you also have a water/sewer back-up endorsement form. In this case, most insurance plans will cover the damage caused by water or sewage that backs up in your home and will unlikely cater for the cost of repairing or replacing the pipe or drain.
c. The person affected by the issue
If both you and your neighbors are experiencing water issues resulting from a torrential downpour or rising waters, you may be dealing with a flood insurance claim. But, if you’re dealing with water in your home and your neighbors don’t have issues, the chances are that you’re dealing with water claim damage.
In most cases, insurance firms cover damages caused by water if you were unable to prevent the hazard. However, this may be tricky since it’s not easy to persuade the insurance company to cover damages caused by maintenance mishaps that you should have fixed. For this reason, if you have a leaky roof that lets in rainwater, a faulty overflowing toilet, a leaking faucet, it may not be easy to have them covered.
For this reason, it’s crucial to;
- Review your insurance policy carefully to enable you to understand what will be catered for before your property gets ruined by floods or water damage.
- Purchase your flood insurance policy in advance- Don’t wait to get a flood insurance policy when the weathermen predict flooding. Most of the insurance firms require a 30 day waiting period before your policy is valid.
- Speak to insurance agents- Insurance agents will guide you on the best insurance policy for your home and will help you understand every detail of your insurance policy. This way, it’ll be easier to make the right choices.
What should I do after experiencing water or flood damage?
Upon experiencing water or flood damages, there are a few things you should do to have your insurance company caters to or the cost of repairs.
Water damage– Once you notice water damage in your property, call any reputable restoration firm to request an estimate. The next step would be contacting your insurance firm to discuss the repair plan for the damage. Take some photos and include a detailed description and wait for the insurance company to inspect the damages. The insurance firm should also determine the water damage restoration cost.
Once the insurance company gives you the go-ahead, contact any plumber to provide you with a detailed, quick, and cost-effective solution that will resolve the issue altogether. They are experts and licensed to diagnose and fix even the most complicated plumbing problems.
Flood damage- When you experience flooding, and the waters have receded, now it’s time to contact your insurance company. Shun transferring things from the house and don’t clean up. Moreover, take photos and write down what you see and wait for an assessor to estimate the damage. Lastly, complete your loss proof to allow the insurance company to release money for renovations.
Water and flood water damage can destroy your home or business at any time, and this makes it essential to get the fitting insurance policy. Talk to insurance agents to guide you on the most suitable plan to suit your needs. If you lack the proper information, you may purchase a policy and not get compensated for damages in your home. Flood and water damage are different, and you have to have the right plan to get covered.