The simple answer is a flood is from water that originates outside the home, and water damage comes from inside.
Water damage typically comes from an overflowed toilet, sink, or a burst pipe. Is water damage covered under your home or renters policy? It depends, and is often tricky. First off, you need to check with your insurance carrier to see if they offer any coverage for water damage under your policy.
There are dozens or home insurance companies in California, and each insurer may have several different policy types. If they do provide coverage, it is typically only for for something that is “sudden and accidental”, like a burst pipe or overflowed toilet. Another important thing to note is in all likelihood your policy has an exclusion for wear and tear (ex. Old pipes that start to leak), and earth movement. It’s important to have your plumbing checked and replaced regularly to ensure you don’t run into a wear and tear problem.
A flood is water that originates outside the home. It could be from rain, an overflowed river, clogged storm drain, or something else. Flood damage is not covered under your homeowners or renters insurance, and like earthquake coverage, requires a separate policy.
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Owner of Paul Nelson Insurance, and resident of Santa Cruz and Monterey counties for 30 years.