The different damage covered in homeowners and flood coverage

Many people are unsure about what types of water damage homeowners and flood insurance policies cover. These are two different types of coverage, and they are intended to work together rather than duplicate coverage. Florida homeowners may do well to learn which policies cover what events.

Homeowners insurance, as well as commercial property policies, provide coverage for several types of water damage that occur to a dwelling before the water reaches the ground. Some causes of water damage included in these policies are burst pipes because of freezing, broken hoses or pipes in an ice maker or washing machine and sudden appliance explosions, such as a water heater burst. They also typically cover heavy rain that causes water to leak through the attic or ceiling, and water damage from a hailstorm smashing a window and raining inside the home.

Standard flood coverage is limited to water damage caused from flooding. This is defined as overflowing or rising water onto land that is normally dry. Some types of water damage that are covered under this insurance are the result of backed up sewers, overflows from creeks and rivers after heavy rainfall, the collapse of swimming pools and water main breaks. Anyone in Florida may purchase flood coverage if they live in a community that agrees to and adopted the minimum ordinance of the 100-year floodplain. While homeowners can get coverage directly through the National Flood Insurance Program, they could obtain coverage through the provider from which they obtained homeowners insurance.

While filing an insurance claim for water damage may not be too challenging, disputing the payout amount for or denial of a claim may be tougher. Homeowners, as well as commercial property owners, could ask attorneys to help them with such disputes.

Source: American Insurance Services, “Flood Coverage vs Water Damage – What’s the difference?”, Jan. 13, 2015