Determining the Difference Between Water Damage and Flood Damage

March 30, 2023

The home-buying process is stressful. Determining what type of Florida flood insurance to keep on a home is extremely important. HH Insurance Group is here to help find the best Florida flood insurance rates. One of our most common questions is: “What is the difference between water and flood damage?” One would think that if “full water damage coverage” is included on their homeowners insurance policy, they would see coverage for any water-related claim for their property – right? Wrong. There are typically two policies that a homeowner needs to carry to ensure their home is fully covered in the event of water damage to their home.

Home Insurance for Water Damage

Between 2016 and 2020, water damage accounted for an average of 23.8% of property insurance claims filed. Water damage can stem from multiple sources. Examples are damage from rainwater, leaking from a roof, or damage from a failed pipe. This “peril,” or an event that causes damage to your property, can damage your furniture. As well as weaken and discolor walls, and cause long-lasting structural damage. Florida flood insurance companies explain that a typical homeowners insurance policy will cover water damage from such events only if negligence does not play a factor. For instance, you are ignoring a slow roof leak or leaking pipe. Still, it will generally exclude the peril of flooding.

FEMA, the Federal agency under which the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) is administered, defines flooding as:

  • A general and temporary condition of partial or complete inundation of 2 or more acres of normally dry land area or of 2 or more properties (at least 1 of which is the policyholder’s property) from:
    • Overflow of inland or tidal waters
    • Unusual and rapid accumulation of runoff of surface waters from any source
    • Mudflow
    • Collapse or subsidence of land along the shore of a lake or a similar body of water due to erosion or undermining caused by waves or currents of water exceeding anticipated cyclical levels that result in a flood, as defined above.

Flood Damage Covered by Insurance

We explain flooding as water that rises from the ground up AND enters a home or business from the outside. Therefore, water damage from an interior pipe burst resulting in a flooded house would not fit the definition of flooding.

So, how does a homeowner know if they need to carry Florida flood insurance? Knowing if the property’s location is in a “hazardous” or high-risk flood zone will determine if a homeowners mortgage company requires them to carry flood insurance. This does not mean properties in lower-risk flood areas are entirely out of the woods. According to the Florida Division of Emergency Management, over 25% of flood insurance claims occur in low-risk flood zones. Knowing this contacting HH Insurance and receiving Florida flood insurance rates will benefit a homeowner in the future.

Comprehensive Water and Flood Damage Insurance With HH Insurance

Homeowners must understand what their insurance policies cover and don’t cover, especially from water and flood damage. The team at HH Insurance is available to answer any questions you may have and can help you if you are interested in a flood insurance quote. In addition, Florida flood insurance companies tell clients not to wait for hurricane season to consider purchasing Florida flood insurance, as most flood insurance policies require a 30-day waiting period before the policy takes effect.


**This blog provides a brief overview of the terms and phrases used within the insurance industry. These definitions are not applicable in all states or for all insurance and financial products. This is not an insurance contract. Other terms, conditions and exclusions apply. Please read your official policy for full details about coverage. These definitions do not alter or modify the terms of any insurance contract.