Asked by Anonymous from an unspecified location
This is a great question! But bear with us, because the answer is a little involved.
The direct answer is no, not all water damage is considered flood damage–and true flood damage is NOT covered by your home insurance policy either. In fact, there are several different types of water damage, each one of which is classified differently by your insurer. The main difference is in the source of the damage.
For instance, if you have a hole in your roof and a driving windstorm pelts rain down into your home, the damage that event causes would be covered by your homeowners insurance policy.
Other types of water damage include sewage backup and mold. Protection for sewage backup can be added to your home insurance plan at a nominal charge. However, mold damage is not covered under the normal homeowners policy.
Basically, any damage caused by the following “perils,” as defined by your insurer, would be covered under your home insurance plan and not considered true “flood damage”:
- Fire or lightning
- Windstorm or hail
- Riot or civil commotion
- Damage caused by aircraft
- Damage caused by vehicles
- Vandalism or malicious mischief
- Volcanic eruption
- Falling objects
- Weight of ice, snow, or sleet
- Accidental discharge or overflow of water or steam from within a plumbing, heating, air conditioning, or automatic fire-protective sprinkler system, or from a household appliance
- Sudden and accidental tearing apart, cracking, burning, or bulging of a steam or hot water heating system, an air conditioning or automatic fire-protective system
- Freezing of a plumbing, heating, air conditioning or automatic, fire-protective sprinkler system, or of a household appliance
- Sudden and accidental damage from artificially generated electrical current (does not include loss to a tube, transistor or similar electronic component)
For your insurance company to consider water damage in your home or on your property as having occurred as a result of a flood, at least one of your neighbor’s properties must also have been damaged. This is because a true flood, by definition, affects multiple structures in a given area.
As stated above, flood damage is not covered by a regular home insurance policy. Instead, it must be purchased separately through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. This is because the amount of risk that type of coverage carries is significantly higher and more costly than a regular homeowners plan, and most home insurance companies aren’t willing to take on that type of risk.
Please note: InsureMe Answers is not intended to be a substitute for advice from a licensed professional. For specific questions about a policy or claim, please contact your insurance agent or company.