Flood Damage Vs Water Damage in Florida
24 Mar
  • By Christian Tang
  • / Tampa

When water damage suddenly occurs unexpectedly, you often need to replace everything affected by the water. It includes walls, floors, and other structural components in your property, as well as personal belongings. Drywall and flooring often need to be removed, and dehumidifiers are needed to dry everything up. Once it dries up completely, the rebuild process will follow.

As a homeowner, it is essential to be well-versed on the difference between water damage and flood damage, especially when you are a policyholder.

The difference between water damage and flood damage

 Many policyholders think water damage and flood damage are the same. They often use it interchangeably. When it comes to insurance claim processes and repair coverage, they are different in scope. Alconero and Associates Public Adjusters in Tampa points out the differences between water damage and flood damage:

Water damage. It is caused primarily by water from burst or broken pipes, back-up from the toilet, an overflowing washing machine, or a flooded air-conditioning unit.

Flood damage. It is caused primarily by water from a natural disaster like heavy rain, storm, or hurricane. Fire damage can be caused by flash flood, prolonged roof leaks, and failure in the sump pump, to name some.

What causes water damage in most properties?

 The most common causes of water damage in Tampa are broken pipes and an issue regarding the plumbing system. Water damage also occurs when a refrigerator, toilet, HVAC system, or washing machine does not drain properly, which causes a flood.

The resulting aftermath of water damage can be severe depending on the location of the leak and how long before someone finds the damage. Burst and broken pipes from the second floor will have a huge impact on the floor beneath it.

Water damage in Tampa is covered mostly in homeowners’ insurance policies. However, you should read your insurance policy carefully to know what kind of water damage your insurance carrier would cover. Water damage in Tampa is one of the most requested insurance policies among policyholders. Specifically, it differs from flood damage in that it occurs before water will reach the ground. For example:

  • A pipe burst in the attic or second floor, and water saturates the ceilings below;
  • A toilet overflows, which soaks the bathroom floorboard; or
  • A hailstorm breaks your window, and water comes inside your home.

What causes flood damage?

 Storms and heavy rains can cause water damage without causing flood damage. If rainwater begins to leak inside your house due to a damaged roof, it is usually considered water damage, not flood damage. The distinction is the event that caused the damage, in this particular case, a storm.

It is more complex to define what constitutes flood damage as compared to water damage. Generally, flood damage is damage to a property as a direct result of a flooding event. It must rain enough to create either a flash flood or a flooding event. It can typically happen during a natural disaster like a hurricane that produces heavy rainfall in a short period. Flood damage can also occur when your property does not have a proper slope for stormwater runoff or when the rain control basin overflow.

The National Flood Insurance Program defined flood as a condition of complete or partial inundation of two or more acres of dried land area or two or more properties. It is either of the following:

  • An overflow of inland or tidal waters
  • A rapid and unusual accumulation of surface waters from any source;
  • Mudflow
  • Subsidence of land along the shore or any bodies of water as a result of erosion.

What is covered by your insurance claim?

 It is a common notion that homeowner’s insurance will cover flood damage in Tampa. However, insurance companies do not cover flood damage. While your policy usually covers water damage, it will not pay for expenses in a flooding event. As far as insurances are concerned, it is noteworthy that flood damage and water damage repair are two separate entities.

To be covered for a flood caused by a storm, a homeowner must have a separate flood insurance rider. If your property is near a high risk of floods, it is essential to obtain a separate flood insurance policy. Elicit the help of Alconero and Associates Public Adjusters in Tampa to know the step-by-step procedures on how to obtain a separate flood insurance policy.

Final thought

 Simply put, the difference between flood damage insurance claims to a water damage insurance claim is that the former comes from a natural source, and two or more properties are involved. If you and your neighbors are all having water issues caused by heavy rain, then you are likely dealing with a flood insurance claim. On the other hand, if you are dealing with water in your property but your neighbor doesn’t have any issues, you are most likely dealing with water damage.

Talk to Alconero and Associates Public Adjusters in Tampa to help make sure you are clear about the insurance coverage details. Our renowned public adjusters will help you make the right insurance choice for your needs. To learn more about the difference between flood damage and water damage claims, contact us at your convenient time.


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