What’s the Difference Between Water Damage Insurance and Flood Insurance?

Homeowners are required to have flood insurance and homeowner’s insurance upon purchasing their home. Well, most of them do anyway; very few places are not located in a known or future flood zone. So, we’ve all heard of flood insurance. But what is water damage insurance? And more importantly, do you need it? Let’s take a look at the facts.

Though there are entire insurance policies dedicated to flood damage, there are merely insurance clauses for the purposes of ensuring against water damage. Now you must be thinking, “Well, floods cause water damage!” So, how do you determine if the destruction your home has sustained falls under the term flood damage or water damage? The main differences lie in the verbiage of your policy and also how the uninvited water got into your home in the first place. Any deterioration resulting from water can either be covered under a flood insurance policy or a homeowner’s insurance or both. It is to your advantage to know the difference before a crisis takes hold. Please note that we do not claim to be licensed insurance specialists. Consult with an insurance agent to expound on the facts.

The Breakdown on Flood Insurance

The term “flood” in standard insurance policies usually refers to rising waters outside your home that have then entered your home’s interior, causing damage. Most of the time, floods are caused by natural catastrophic circumstances (but not always). The Insurance Information Network of California has a couple of good “rules of thumb”. First, “rising” is the keyword found in flood damage literature that is not found in water damage cases. Second, flood waters are usually water that has touched the ground first before entering your home. Torrential rains, hurricanes, and breached or broken levees are classic examples of floods. These conditions are covered by flood insurance and will not be covered by homeowner’s insurance alone.

Water Damage Coverage

Water damage, on the other hand, is categorized by water that has not yet contacted the ground before invading your home. Roof leaks, for example, might be the intrusion of rainwater (a naturally occurring phenomenon) but is not “flooding” by the legal and insurance definition as it hasn’t risen from the ground. Thus, a roof leak would most likely be covered by your homeowner’s insurance policy.

We hope you never have to put this knowledge into practice, but if you have both flood insurance and a homeowner’s policy rest assured knowing you are probably covered. If this information raises more questions than it answers, please do yourself a favor and seek the help of a professional insurance provider.

Total Restoration of Texas provides the following services:


We serve the following Austin-area communities:

  • Austin
  • Buda
  • Cedar Park
  • Georgetown
  • Kyle
  • Lakeway
  • Leander
  • Lockhart
  • New Braunfels
  • Pflugerville
  • Round Rock
  • San Marcos