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Does Your Insurance Cover Water Damage? Maybe Not

When is water damage not water damage? When an insurance company says it’s not! You see, although losses by water to your South Carolina property may be identical regardless of the source of the water, insurance companies distinguish between what they consider “water damage”, “flood damage” and “sewer backup”. So, to make certain that ALL your possessions are covered, you’ll need coverage for all varieties of claims.

Flood Water Damage

Flood Insurance

Although it seems like faulty logic, the typical homeowner’s insurance policy doesn’t cover destruction produced by floods. You’ll need to buy a separate policy for that. To be considered a flood, insurance companies abide by the legal classification established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) that it’s a “general and temporary condition where two or more acres of normally dry land or two or more properties are inundated by water or mudflow”. Those conditions are caused by such things as overflowing rivers, heavy rains, overflow of tidal waters, and mud slides.

Water Damage Insurance

Fortunately, water damage is included in many home insurance policies. How insurance companies separate it from flood damage is they classify it as damage that transpires before water hits the ground. (An easy way to remember this is, “Flood damage rises and water damage falls.”) Some covered water

damage claims are:

  • Water damage from fire hoses
  • Drenched floors due to a storm that broke windows
  • A leaking appliance
  • A broken heat or AC system
  • Frozen pipes that have burst
  • A leaking roof

Sewer or Water Backup Insurance

Sewer problems and contaminated water from outside leaking into your home are possible exemptions to what’s considered flood or water damage. Most homeowners’ policies won’t cover damage caused by either. (For example: water seepage from a leaking swimming pool, fishpond or other underground water feature on your property). To cover those issues, you’ll need to buy a separate insurance coverage policy to add-on to your homeowner’s policy to ensure coverage. Their payment limits usually fluctuate between $5,000 and $25,000.

Please note: Even if the water came from outside your property, such as city sewage pipe, it still won’t be covered by insurance unless you buy the separate coverage outlined above.

If you have questions and/or need further information about this subject, call your insurance agent. If your home or business was built on a flood plain, your agent will probably suggest that you obtain supplementary flood insurance to lessen your financial risk.

But regardless of where the water came from, be rest assured that the professionals at Kingsley Water Damage Restoration tackle all water damage problems. We’ll dry you out, repair the damage and treat you and your South Carolina home with the utmost respect from start to finish.