If you’re like most homeowners, the first call you'll make after you discover your home has water damage is going to be to your home insurance company. And if you’re like many people, you might be shocked to learn that you and your insurance company are defining water damage very differently.

Homeowners across the country struggle with the specific definitions the home insurance industry uses to discuss the different definitions of damage used when they claim their policy. So, let the professionals at RTC Restoration explain some of the common definitions used by the restoration and insurance industries to describe water damage.

Definition of Water Damage

The general definition for water damage is simply water that destroys the inside of your home. However, this definition is not quite specific enough. For your home and insurance, you must consider where the water comes from or how it gets into your home. Traditionally water damage comes from either inside your home or because one of the components of your home is damaged.

Examples of water damage include:

  • Roof Damage that Allows Rain into Your Home
  • Window Damage that Allows Water into Your Home
  • Overflowing Bathtub or Sink Damages Your Floors
  • Busted Pipes Damaging Walls or Ceilings

As you can see, none of our examples include damage from floodwaters. Typically, water damage occurs before the water meets the ground. Flood damage, however, occurs when the water comes from external water sources. It’s important to understand these distinctions. Most types of water damage are covered under your homeowner’s policy, while flood damage is only covered by a separate flood insurance policy.

Flood damage comes from:

  • Rapid Accumulation of Surface or Rain Waters
  • Overflowing Tidal or Inland Waters

Categories of Water Damage

Understandably, not all types of water damage are the same. The insurance industry uses three distinct categories that describe its degree of destruction.

These categories include:

  • Category One: The least severe type of damage falls into this category because it poses no health threat to any individual.
  • Category Two: This category of damage poses some health risks to individuals due to heavy bacteria or chemical contamination levels.
  • Category Three: The most severe types of water damage and often pose major health risks to individuals. Backed-up sewer lines and natural floodwaters both fall into this category due to varying levels of fecal contamination.

Preventing Water Damage

When flood damage comes from large natural disasters, there is not much that the average homeowner can realistically do to prepare. However, there are many things you can do to prevent water damage. In fact, just a bit of annual or semi-annual routine maintenance can go a long way toward preventing many more common issues.

Prevent potential water damage by regularly inspecting:

  • Showers, Tubs, Sinks, and Appliances
  • Plumbing Fixtures
  • Roof and Gutters

Turn to the Pros for Help with Water Damage

Do you know what steps to follow if there is water damage in your home? Whether you’re currently dealing with damage from water, fire, or mold or you are looking for an expert to guide you through some pre-disaster planning, you can turn to the restoration experts at RTC Restoration. We offer round-the-clock emergency services, and full-service insurance restoration focused on helping you put your home or business back together quickly. Call today to speak to one of our restoration specialists or fill out our online form to schedule a consultation.