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Key Differences Between Water Damage and Flood Damage

Having water or flood damage to your home can be stressful, especially if you don’t understand what is covered and what isn’t under your homeowner’s policy.

Water damage can be caused by plumbing issues, a flooded air-conditioning unit, or an overflowed washing machine. It can also be caused by a rain or snow event that may result in burst pipes or an ice dam that causes a sudden water leak inside your home.

About one in 50 homeowners will file a water damage claim every year which accounts for almost 24% of all homeowners insurance claims, according to the Insurance Information Institute. The average water damage claim amount is just over $11,000, according to iPropertyManagement.

Flood damage is caused by water from a natural disaster like heavy rains, snowmelt, storm surge, flash-flooding or a hurricane. This type of damage where water rises may not only impact you, but it can also impact your neighbors.

Water damage to a building or personal property caused by a flood is not typically covered under your standard homeowner’s insurance policy. About one in four homeowners file a flood damage claim every year which accounts for an average of $25,000 for every one inch of water, according to the National Flood Insurance Program.

What water damage events are not typically covered under your standard homeowner’s policy?

  • Flood damage – surface water
  • Water damage resulting from lack of maintenance or negligence
  • Repair of the source of leak (e.g. water heater or washing machine)
  • Water and sewer back up, but additional coverage may be available
  • Groundwater that enters through basement walls and floors

Hopefully this helps to clear up the key differences between water damage and flood damage. If you live in an area that frequently floods, talk to your MAPFRE agent or visit the National Flood Insurance Program.

Please Note: This content is not intended to describe any specific coverage offered by MAPFRE Insurance. No coverage is provided, bound or guaranteed by this article. Available coverages, credits and discounts vary from state to state and are subject to eligibility criteria and policy terms/conditions, which will control in the event of conflict between this article and your insurance policy. For information about your policy, please review your individual policy contract and speak with your insurance representative.

MAPFRE Insurance® is a brand and service mark of MAPFRE U.S.A. Corp. and its affiliates, including American Commerce Insurance CompanySM (Cal. COA 4928-8), Citation Insurance CompanySM, The Commerce Insurance CompanySM, Commerce West Insurance CompanySM (Cal. COA 1372-2), MAPFRE Insurance CompanySM (Cal. COA 3039-5), and MAPFRE Insurance Company of FloridaSM.

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