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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

The Difference Between Storm Damage and Flood Damage

7/7/2021 (Permalink)

Floodwaters enter a home, wet floor. Concept of storm damage Storm caused damaged floor in a Washington, UT home.

Flood Damage vs Storm Damage

 The classification of damage type when calamity strikes your business in Washington, UT, makes a difference to your business insurer. Read on for the discrete definitions of flood damage and storm damage and their respective ramifications. Flood Damage

The federal government’s emergency management agency (FEMA) defines, for legal purposes, what constitutes flooding. Though FEMA does not offer assistance to businesses, insurance companies use this definition in processing claims. Important distinctions include:

  • Flood damage is officially defined as a temporary condition in which there exists an inundation of water or mud that covers two or more acres or properties on land that is normally dry.
  • If the inundation is the result of rising floodwaters from the ground up, the claim would be to the flood insurance policy.
  • Business, homeowners and renters insurance generally covers damage from a storm deluge or hurricane that doesn’t meet FEMA’s criteria for flooding.

Storm Damage

Coverage for storm damage is generally more broadly applicable than other types of insurance. Even so, certain conditions apply for a storm claim versus a flood claim.

  • If inundation occurs because of damage to the building’s roof or windows and wind-driven rain infiltrates, the property insurance will typically cover the damage.
  • Ice, snow and hail damage that results in water inside the building is typically covered under the property insurance policy.
  • Damage from broken pipes, a leaking roof, accidental sprinkler discharge or water from extinguishing a fire are typically covered in a business property policy as opposed to a flood policy.
  • Aside from damage as the result of water or mudflow, destruction from other natural events such as lightning, wind and wildfires can cover losses including interruptions to business or the supply chain that supports it.

Flood damage is more strictly defined than other types of losses. Understanding your exposure to loss and planning for it is an important business decision no matter the location of your enterprise.

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