Do I have water damage coverage? Is flood insurance the same?

When it comes to terminology in any industry, making sure that we are all speaking the same language is key. With regards to terms like flood damage and water damage (read more here…) the differences may seem small, but mean a lot to your insurance company.

It may surprise you to learn that water damage coverage is typically included in most homeowner’s insurance policies. The confusion usually lies in what the difference is between Water Damage coverage and Flood Insurance.

Flood insurance is a specialized insurance for damages caused by water coming into the home from an outside source such as a (surprise!) flood, sewer water, rainwater, among other possible sources of contamination. Water coming in from the outside is always classified as a Category 3 loss, which requires the use of specialized equipment and training to remediate properly.

In the past, the common knowledge was that flood insurance was only available or required for homes located within flood plain areas designated by FEMA, but, this information is slightly inaccurate. Homes (which are mortgaged) located in these areas are required to carry adequate flood insurance coverage in the event of a disaster. However, anyone can purchase flood insurance, regardless of location, but national statistics report that only 12% of homeowners carry flood insurance. The fact remains that the decision is yours to make (as long as you don’t live in an area where it would be required if your home is mortgaged).

Water damage coverage, however, is something that most every homeowner’s insurance policy includes, and (depending on your insurance provider) typically covers sudden and accidental damages caused by things such as a burst pipe or a dishwasher hose rupturing suddenly. What these policies do not cover, however, are problems arising due to poor maintenance and negligence.

Hopefully, a bit of understanding of these differences can go a long way when trying to determine a course of action to take when you are in the middle of an emergency. If the time ever does come, IRS is here for you and regardless of the kind of coverage you have, we can help get your home back in working order in less time than anyone else in the Las Vegas Valley.