Water vs Flood Damage

Many homeowners are surprised to learn that water and flood damage are not the same thing. While your homeowner’s insurance covers certain types of water damage, it will not cover destruction to your home or property caused by flood waters. To receive coverage for this type of damage, you must have separate flood insurance.

Should your home suffer water damage in Greater Orlando, Winter Haven and Kissimmee, Florida, experienced Florida insurance dispute attorneys can quickly review your situation and determine if your case has merit.

Understanding what constitutes flood damage in Florida

According to the National Flood Insurance Program, a flood is, “A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of two or more acres of normally dry land area or of two or more properties (at least one of which is your property) from:

  • Overflow of inland or tidal waters;
  • Unusual and rapid accumulation or runoff of surface waters from any source; or
  • Mudflow.”

Thus, if your house suffers water damage, you need to identify where the water came from and if it has affected at least two or more acres or one or more of your neighbors. Additionally, you should be aware that “flash flooding” caused by substantial rain-fall can flood yards, parking lots, etc., enter homes, and cause significant flood damage. If you are confident your home has sustained flood damage, be ready to make two phone calls: one to your insurer, and another to your insurance dispute attorney.

Identifying water damage in your home

If you detect even a minor water leak in your ceiling, plumbing, or elsewhere, you must remedy the problem immediately. Leaks do not go away. On the contrary, they slowly get worse. Wait too long and you will have a substantial and possibly costly problem to deal with. Here are a few of the most common scenarios that cause water damage to homes:

  • Serious storms cause rain to seep through your roof, damaging walls and floors
  • A pipe bursts in your kitchen or elsewhere
  • Your toilet overflows soaking your bathroom floorboards

Whether your insurance covers the above damage depends entirely on your policy. It is important that you read your policy carefully and look out for any exclusions. Additionally, you should keep in mind that preventable issues will likely not be covered. For example, if your water damage is caused by a burst pipe that needed repair, you are probably out of luck.

Experienced Florida Insurance Dispute Attorneys

Johnson & Williams, P.A., focuses on helping homeowners throughout Greater Orlando, Winter Haven and Kissimmee, Florida. For more information about how to resolve an insurance matter regarding water damage, call us today at (407) 245-1268, or contact us online to set up a consultation.